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2016 Copa America Centenario



June 4, 2016

Goals at a premium on first full day of group play
by Soccer News Net Staff


ORLANDO, Fla. -- Costa Rica and Paraguay settled for a 0-0 draw in their Group A opener in the Copa America Centenario on Saturday evening at Camping World Stadium.

In oppressive Florida summer conditions that required the use of one hydration break during each half, the biggest moment may not have been a chance, but the very late sending off of Costa Rican center back Kendall Waston.

His 94th-minute ejection means Costa Rica will have to replace him in the back four when it takes on the United States in Chicago on Tuesday night.

Only moments before, the Ticos might have had a penalty when Ceslo Borgesí cross appeared to hit the forearm of the defending Ceslo Ortiz. Argentine referee Patricio Loustau declined to point to the spot though, and only seconds later was reaching for his back pocket after Wastonís two-legged challenge.

Paraguay started on the front foot, though despite lots of dangerous looking attacks registered just one shot on goal all game.

Costa Rica got better as the match progressed, an impressive feat considering the weather. And three minutes from full time, Christian Bolanosí dipping strike from 25 yards almost fooled goalkeeper Justo Villar, who got just enough of an arm on it to send it wide.

Paraguay plays Colombia in the other second game in Group A in Pasadena Tuesday, two hours after the USMNT and Costa Rica kick off.

SEATTLE--Paolo Guerrero became Peru's all-time leading goal scorer with his game-winning header in Saturday's 1-0 win over Haiti in Group B play at CenturyLink Field.

Guerrero dove to meet a cross from Edison Flores in the 61st minute. It was his 27th international goal, one more than previous record holder Teofilo Cubillas.

Haiti goalkeeper Johny Placide kept things close with four saves, and got some help from the woodwork on the cusp of halftime, when Flores hit the post. He also turned away a point-blank attempt by Renzo Revoredo two minutes before Guerrero delivered the win to the South Americans.

Haiti put only one shot on goal, a 13th-minute attempt by Duckens Nazon saved by netminder Pedro Gallese in the 13th minute, but Les Grenadiers came breathtakingly close to snatching a point in the fourth minute of stoppage time, when Kervens Belfort sent an open header just wide.

Both teams return to action Wednesday, June 8, Peru facing Ecuador at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, and Haiti facing Brazil at Orlando's Camping World Stadium.

PASADENA, Calif.--There were more cards than shots on goal in Saturday's chippy scoreless Group B draw between Brazil and Ecuador at the Rose Bowl.

Both teams collected three yellow cards - Brazil's before the intermission and Ecuador's after.

The result was at once encouraging and frustrating for Ecuador, who had lost 12 of 13 prior Copa America matches against Brazil and drawn the other. They arguably should have won on Saturday, after Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson bobbled Miller Bolanos' 66th-minute sharply-angled effort into the net, but the goal was disallowed when it was ruled that the ball had passed over the left endline before the shot was taken.

Brazil put two shots on target, but their best chance came in the 83rd minute, when Lucas nodded a header just outside the upper left corner.

Both teams continue group play on Wednesday, June 8, Brazil against Haiti at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, and Ecuador against Peru at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

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