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HomeSportsCopa America: Phillipe Coutinho scores hat-trick, Brazil defeat Haiti 7-1

Copa America: Phillipe Coutinho scores hat-trick, Brazil defeat Haiti 7-1

Philippe Coutinho struck a spectacular hat-trick and Renato Augusto scored twice as Brazil crushed Haiti 7-1 in their Copa America Centenario Group B match at the Citrus Bowl on Wednesday.

Copa America-AV
The result moves Brazil to four points from two games after they were held to a goal-less draw in their opener against Ecuador.

The five-times world champions will complete their group stage against Peru on Sunday.

For Haiti, playing in their first Copa America and their first ever competitive game against the Selecao, a memorable occasion turned into a long night where they were simply unable to match their opponents.

While the quality of the opponent means few overall conclusions about Dunga`s team will be drawn from the game, Coutinho`s laser sharp finishing was another reminder of his growing stature, after a fine season in the Premier League with Liverpool.

“He is really taking advantage of the opportunities he has been given,” said Brazil coach Dunga.

“We have talked quite a lot to him about being the `Liverpool Coutinho` – to take the initiative, be a leading part of the team, all within his own style,” added the coach.

The Brazilians took control from the outset with their Caribbean opponents struggling to close down and limit their passing and movement.

Coutinho went close in the sixth minute when he cut in from the left and his low shot forced Johny Placide into a low save.

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro then saw a dangerous long-range drive deflected just wide as Brazil began to pile on the pressure.

Coutinho finally got the breakthrough in the 14th minute and in spectacular fashion.

Filipe Luis found Coutinho plenty of space with the Haiti defence, fatally, allowing him to turn and unleash an unstoppable 20 yard drive.Fifteen minutes later Coutinho struck again, this time in much more straightforward fashion when Dani Alves crossed from the right, Jonas held off two defenders and was able to slip the ball into the path of the 23-year-old who slotted home from close range.

Brazil were enjoying themselves with Willian rampaging forward and the midfield moving the ball around with ease.

Haiti had their moments of positive play as well but it was their defending and lack of solidity in midfield that left them too often chasing shadows.

The last thing French coach Patrice Neveu`s side needed was to gift the Brazilians a goal but that is what they did in the 35th minute when keeper Placide gifted possession away, throwing out to Alves, who simply crossed for Augusto to head home.

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