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Willian and Brazil eliminated from Copa America 2016 thanks to handball goal

Brazil needed at least a draw to progress; Peru needed a win.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Brazil's national hangover after the 7-1 in the World Cup continued Sunday night as the Selecão slumped to an historic, controversial defeat to Peru, getting eliminated before the knockout rounds of the Copa America for the first time since 1987.  With the 1-0 win, their first over Brazil since 1985, Peru have won Group B and will thus face Colombia in the quarterfinals.  Despite winning Group A, the USA will face the tougher of the two advancing teams from Group B, Ecuador.  Quite the cunning plan from Colombia manager Jose Pekerman then to rotate his team on Saturday and throw away three points!

Brazil manager Dunga was already under pressure before the tournament began and if he's getting sacked in the morning, few will be surprised.  But perhaps an even more lasting impact will be felt from Brazil's failure at Copa 2016: instant replay.  Frank Lampard's incorrectly disallowed goal at the 2006 2010 World Cup was instrumental in goal-line technology being accepted — ironically enough saving the Germans on Sunday, while Ukraine once again got the short end of the lucky stick — will Raúl Ruidiaz's handball-goal or Miller Bolanos's disallowed goal in Brazil's first match do the same for instant replay?

Some might argue that for Brazil, karma evened itself out.  They should've lost to Ecuador, but drew instead.  They should've drawn with Peru, but lost instead.  But even if we assume that everything else plays out exactly the same, we should not be relying on random chance to achieve some semblance of footballing justice.  And considering that the inept refereeing crew took far longer than any instant replay would've taken to decide whether Ruidiaz handled the ball or not (not to mention, getting it wrong), there's no excuse not to implement a video replay system.

Controversies aside, Brazil were simply not good enough.  They were not good enough on Sunday against Peru and they were not good enough in the first game against Ecuador.  They put seven past Haiti but no one likes a flat-track bully.

As far as Willian, Chelsea's Player of the Year was anything but his best in these three games.  He started well enough in the first game against Ecuador before picking up an injury, but while he played on, it was all downhill from there.  Perhaps the injury was not nothing after all.  Or perhaps he just continued his steadily decreasing form of the past couple months at Chelsea.  Either way, he crowned his tournament with a bad miss on Sunday.

Willian has been one of Dunga's ever-presents, but with Chelsea refusing to release him for the Rio Olympics and Dunga's future in plenty of doubt, it might be a few games before we see him in a Brazil shirt again.  Given how tired he's looked these last few months, a bit of rest for the next month or so may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

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