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Copa America: Brazil held by Venezuela to 0-0 draw
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Copa America: Brazil held by Venezuela to 0-0 draw

Pennews

Host Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw against Venezuela in the Copa America on Tuesday as the referee disallowed a late strike from Philippe Coutinho after a controversial VAR decision.

Coutinho thought he had fired Brazil into the quarter-finals in the 87th minute when he bundled home a finish from Everton Soares' driving run down the left wing at Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova.

But for the second time in the match, Chilean referee Julio Bascunan ruled out the Brazilian goal after being alerted to an infringement by the video assistant referee. The goal appeared to have been disallowed due to a touch by Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino, although it was not clear that Firmino had been offside as the ball grazed him on the way into the net.

Brazil left the field to boos but remain top of Group A with four points from two games, and one game to play. Venezuela have two points from two games and will fancy their chances of advancing with their final game coming against Bolivia, who suffered their second straight defeat earlier Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to Peru.

Brazil, who had made hard work of beating Bolivia in their opener, once again struggled to find a creative spark against well-organized opponents.Brazil left the field to loud boos and whistling, and manager Tite wasted no time in making a change at half-time, bringing on Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus for Richarlison.

Brazil will meet Peru in their final group game on Saturday with both sides needing only a draw to seal their place in the quarterfinals.Venezuela have two points while Bolivia are without a point, with the two facing each other on Saturday.

The top two in each group are guaranteed a place in the last eight, along with the two highest-ranked teams finishing third.