Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

first_imgSao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten. Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later. Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paulo. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevThe build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa. If Brazil’s first half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time. “Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’ships”We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV. “Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances. But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline. Bolivia’s goalkeeper Carlos Lampe made an instinctive block from a Roberto Firmino flick that came straight at him. And a few minutes later, towering center-half Thiago Silva was left unmarked eight yards out to meet another Coutinho delivery, but he inexplicably headed well wide. The pitch at the Morumbi stadium wasn’t helping flowing football, with Bolivia in particular struggling to string passes together. “We’ve got to be honest, Brazil beat us and beat us well,” said Bolivia coach Eduardo Villegas. Brazil, wearing white shirts and blue shorts, weaved almost geometric patterns around their unambitious visitors but struggled to test Lampe. Their best chances came from Bolivian mistakes and Richarlison should have scored into an open goal when a woeful Lampe clearance went straight to him, but the Everton forward failed to lift the ball over defender Adrian, who headed clear from the edge of the 18-yard box.last_img read more

Sri Lankan maid shot dead in Saudi Arabia killer commits suicide

The 30-year-old Saudi later shot himself with the same gun, said Lt. Badar Assahabani, spokesman for Qassim police in a statement.He said based on preliminary information, the man was suffering from a psychological disorder. A Sri Lankan woman was killed by gunfire in Buraidah in Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning. A Saudi man who was accused of opening fire on the woman later committed suicide by shooting himself, The Saudi Gazette reported today.The dead woman was identified as Priyanka Jayashanker, 42, who worked as a maid in the man’s household. Her body was kept in hospital morgue in Al-Ras for further legal procedures, according to informed sources. Police received information about the incident Saturday morning. They said the Saudi man killed the Sri Lankan maid inside his house with a hunting rifle. Forensics teams and other experts visited the crime scene and lifted evidence. The case has been referred to the pertinent authorities. (Colombo Gazette) read more