Brazil went into Sunday’s Group B finale knowing that all they needed was a draw to top the group and move onto the quarterfinals. They looked like they were on track to get it, at 0-0 late in the match, but then Peru found a goal to deliver them a win and send Brazil out of Copa America Centenario.
But it wasn’t as simple as Brazil conceding. That’s because Raul Ruidiaz scored with a pretty blatant handball.
After the goal was scored, the referee spent ages discussing matters with his linesman and then walking around while players from both teams yelled at him, seemingly cluless as to what had happened. But then he signaled that the goal would stand, finalizing his incorrect call.
With that, Brazil are no longer in Copa America. They finished third in their group, ended their tournament with one win, one draw and one loss. Meanwhile, Peru are the top team from Group B thanks to Ruidiaz’s goal and have their first win over Brazil since 1985.
There’s no doubt that Brazil will be upset because of how they lost. Going out on an incorrect call is a killer, but it’s not as if they did anything to deserve their place in the next round.
Brazil were downright putrid in this tournament and were shutout in two of their three matches. They had no ideas going forward and were generally outplayed. They were a bad team.
And while the referee did hurt Brazil against Peru, the referee also handed them a point in their opener against Ecuador. Then, it was the ref incorrectly ruling that the ball went out of bounds before Ecuador scored, denying Los Amarillos three points. Brazil should have lost that opener. And had they lost that match, even a just draw against Peru wouldn’t have been enough for them to advance.
So in a world where all of the calls were correct, Brazil are still going out of Copa America Centenario.
Brazil will feel aggrieved, and understandably so considering they were beaten by a bad call. But in the end, it all probably played out the way it should have.