Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 10th 2016 Contents A53
Friday, June 10, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Coutinho's trick leads
Brazil over Haiti 7-1
ORLANDO---This was a 7-1
scoreline Brazil could enjoy.
Philippe Coutinho scored his first
international hat trick, Renato
Augusto had two goals and Brazil
routed Haiti 7-1 Wednesday night
in the Copa America.
Coutinho scored in the 14th and
29th minutes to build a 2-0 lead,
then added a goal on a 20-yard drive
in the second minute of second-half
stoppage time. The Liverpool mid-
fielder s only previous goal for Brazil
was against Mexico in an exhibition
on June 7 last year.
Gabriel Barbosa and Lucas Lima
also scored for Brazil in a scoreline
that matched the devastating defeat
for the Selecao in the 2014 World
Cup semifinals against Germany at
"We have been encouraging
Coutinho during training to be the
player he is in Liverpool, take advan-
tage of his opportunities and he did
that for us," Brazil s coach Dunga
said. "He has been acquiring more
trust and belief in himself and taking
more risks. That is what we want-
Brazil has four points in Group B
and completes group play Sunday
against Peru, which tied Ecuador 2-
2 also on Wednesday and also has
four points. Ecuador has two points
and Haiti has zero points and has
Dunga said his team is relaxed
"It s not just important for Brazil
to win, but for us to be the best
players on the field in every game,"
he said. "This was a good game. We
did many of the things in the game
that we worked on in training, but
we are always seeking perfection."
Coutinho s first goal was from just
outside the penalty area and his sec-
ond came from six yards out after
a three-touch sequence. Dani Alves
crossed, Jonas outfought two defend-
ers to control the ball in front of
goalkeeper Johny Placide, then slid
it across the goalmouth for Coutinho
to tap in.
Alves looped a cross onto Augus-
to s head 10 yards out for the third
Gabriel Barbosa entered for Jonas
at the start of the second half and
made it 4-0 with an 18-yard left-
footed shot and Alves crossed for
Lima s header.
Marcelin beat Brazil goalkeeper
Alisson on a rebound after Max
Hillaire s initial effort.
"We knew they were better than
us. I m just happy we scored a goal,"
Brazil, which had control of the
ball 64 per cent of the game and
had 15 shots on goal to just five for
Haiti, didn t let up in the final 20
minutes. Augusto got his second goal
in the 86th minute and Coutinho
finished off the scoring in stoppage
CHICAGO---Lionel Messi is
ready to play again. At a key
Messi is set to return from a back
injury when Argentina takes on
Panama in Copa America tonight
at Soldier Field.
"He has been training without
any issues, no need of doing any-
thing special and so he is playing
tomorrow," manager Gerardo Mar-
tino said yesterday. "He started
training with the team since yes-
terday. He managed to do it without
any pain, any problems, so there s
not a reason for him not to play."
Messi departed in the second half
of a 1-0 victory against Honduras
on May 27 with a back and rib
injury. The five-time FIFA Player
of the Year watched as top-ranked
Argentina beat Chile 2-1 on Monday
Messi has stayed mostly quiet
about his status. He said Tuesday
on his Facebook page that he hoped
to be back to help the team as soon
"He s doing well. He s very moti-
vated. ... The conditions to which
he is coming back to the team are
ideal," Martino said through an
A winner in tonight s match
would be in firm control of Group
D of South America s championship.
Blas Perez scored two goals, includ-
ing the winner in the 87th minute,
as Panama beat Bolivia 2-1 on Mon-
day to become the first non-CON-
MEBOL team to win its Copa debut.
"This would be a completely dif-
ferent match after Chile," Martino
said. "Panama, playing deep in their
half, could be dangerous on the
counter-attacks and exploiting
spaces. ... They will consider that
they don t have anything to lose.
They accomplished the goal of win-
ning their first match. They know
they have a nice opportunity ahead
Messi has not won any major
senior trophy since joining the
national team in 2005. He cheered
from the bench as Angel Di Maria
scored and set up Ever Banega s
goal in the victory over Chile.
Di Maria decided to stay with the
team after his grandmother passed
away before the Copa opener.
"Those are tough spots," Martino
said. "And each one tries to do the
best they can to handle them."
Messi s return comes one week
after his tax fraud trial concluded
in Spain. The Barcelona star, who
turns 29 on June 24, testified last
Thursday and joined the national
team the next day.
Argentina lost 4-1 to Chile in a
penalty shootout in the 2015 Copa
America final. It has won the tour-
nament 14 times since 1921. (AP)
Brazil's Philippe Coutinho celebrates
after scoring a goal against Haiti. AP
Messi to play against Panama
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