Brazil was a favorite at this summer’s Copa America Centanario, which is not a surprise, considering they’re Brazil. They thrashed the vastly outmatched Haiti, but drew Ecuador 0-0, in a game that featured a potential Ecuador winner waved off dubiously:
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 5, 2016
That brings us to Sunday’s final Group B game, in which Brazil needed to beat or draw Peru to advance, while Peru needed a win to move on to face Colombia in the quarterfinals. How rare is it for Peru to defeat Brazil? Well, it hadn’t happened since 1985, so, yeah, pretty rare.
But Peru played tough, and the match was tied 0-0 well into the second half. In the 75th minute, Peru had a break down the right, a cross was played in, and Peru’s Raul Ruidíaz put it into the net. Peru players and fans celebrated, while Brazil’s keeper and defenders immediately shouted for the referee to disallow it. And they certainly had a point, as replays showed Ruidíaz clearly swept it in with his arm. Take a look:
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 13, 2016
That’s your classic handball. The referee immediately conferred with his assistant, as well as the fourth official, but the original ruling stood. Brazil trailed 1-0. It was quite confusing; there’s no video replay in soccer, and no one seemed to know what exactly the officials were discussing for minutes:
And after all that time they got the call wrong. Video replay now.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 13, 2016
@JeffreyCarlisle and the Ecuador goal vs. Brazil should have counted. What goes around comes back around
— Hudson (@huds_socceracct) June 13, 2016
— LeanderAlphabet (@LeanderAlphabet) June 13, 2016
This is insane. What can they be discussing here for this long?
— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) June 13, 2016
Worst thing to happen to sports in Brazil since… all that poo floating in the Olympic rowing venues
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) June 13, 2016
Peru proceeded to hang on for the remainder of the match, winning 1-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals. Brazil is out, under unfortunate circumstances. The European Championships have an extra official by each goal, which may very well have prevented this sort of mistake.
Perhaps if the combined Copa America remains a tournament going forward, they’ll look to make a similar addition. Peru will face Colombia Friday night at MetLife Stadium.