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Vinicius Jr stars as Brazil see off Paraguay at Copa America

Next up is a clash with already-qualified Colombia for the right to finish top of Group D

Vinicius Jr

Brazil coach Dorival Jr hailed Vinicius Jr after the Real Madrid forward scored twice in the 4-1 thrashing of Paraguay that belatedly sparked their Copa America campaign into life.

Brazil led 3-0 at half-time as they looked to banish the memory of their goalless draw with Costa Rica in their Group D opener – goals from Vinicius Jr sandwiching a Savinho strike.

Omar Alderete pulled one back for Paraguay before a penalty from Lucas Paqueta, who had earlier missed from the spot, completed the scoring. Paraguay finished the game with 10 men after Andres Cubas was sent off with nine minutes to go.

“There was a certain level of disappointment for the lack of a positive result in the first match,” Dorival Jr said. “But I think our performance was of a great level. We’ve made great progress in very little time. We almost never have 20 days to work together.

“I told you to be patient because this team is trending on the right path.”

Vinicius Jr was the stand-out player, terrorising the Paraguay defence throughout with a display of pace and trickery.

“Today he played a very important role,” Dorival Jr added.

“He played an almost perfect match, he created very good situations and opportunities. He was dynamic, very effective, straightforward and direct.

“He played well with other players and teamed up nicely, he has great capacity.”

Colombia next up for Brazil

Brazil are second in their pool, two points behind leaders Colombia, who they meet on Tuesday.

Nestor Lorenzo’s side beat Costa Rica 3-0 to secure their place in the quarter-finals but they will want to preserve their 25-game unbeaten run and lay down a marker by edging out Brazil.

“I think that we’ll have a match of a very high level, with players that know each other, that usually play against each other,” Dorival Jr said.

“These are different teams that are undergoing different moments but I have no doubts that Brazil will perform at the highest level, and I expect that it will be better than these two first matches.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.