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Brazil 3-0 Bolivia

With Neymar watching from afar, it was Philippe Coutinho who came through for Brazil in the Copa America opener.

With two quick goals after the team was jeered by the local crowd at half-time, Coutinho helped Brazil overcome Bolivia 3-0 in the absence of the injured Neymar.

Coutinho converted a penalty kick awarded by video review in the 50th minute and headed in a cross by Roberto Firmino in the 53rd, helping the hosts overcome a lacklustre first half that prompted the loud jeers at the Morumbi Stadium.

‘Sometimes it’s normal for the fans to jeer, they want us to play well and win,’ Coutinho said. ‘It was a difficult match, like it always is in the opener. It was important to get this first win.’

Substitute Everton also scored in the second half to help appease the fans at the Morumbi, keeping Brazil on track for their first South American title since 2007.

Brazil’s debut came with Neymar still attracting most of the attention even though he is not playing in the tournament because of an ankle injury.

Neymar on Thursday appeared at a police station amid a media frenzy to answer questions about a rape allegation from a Brazilian woman who visited him in Paris.

Neymar, who has denied wrongdoing, posted a photo on Twitter of himself watching the match from bed while treating his right ankle, along with a message showing support to his former teammates.


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