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Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 05:57 GMT 06:57 UK
Brazil victorious in Copa America
Baptista  celebrates
Baptista scored for Brazil in only the fourth minute

Brazil retained the Copa America after beating favourites Argentina 3-0 in a one-sided final in Venezuela.

Brazil opened the scoring in the fourth minute as former Arsenal striker Julio Baptista hammered a fine strike past Argentina keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri.

Five minutes before the interval, Roberto Ayala inadvertently deflected Daniel Alves' cross into his own net.

And Alves secured victory with 21 minutes remaining as he finished well following a smart counter-attack.

It was Brazil's eighth Copa America title and denied their arch-rivals a record 15th crown.

Argentina were outplayed in every department as the sparkling form they showed in the run-up to the final deserted them.

The result was justification for a side who entered the tournament without Ronaldinho and Kaka, and who had been criticised for being workmanlike.

This is for the Brazilian worker, whose only satisfaction in life is seeing Brazil win a football match

Brazil coach Dunga
Baptista's goal settled any early nerves as he picked up a long ball from Elano - who replaced suspended skipper Gilberto Silva - controlled it neatly, turned to the right of Ayala and fired a fierce right-foot drive into the top corner.

Five minutes later, Argentina were unfortunate not to be back on level terms when a header from Juan Sebastian Veron found Juan Roman Riquelme in space but his shot came off the post.

But Argentina struggled to make any impact and Brazil took control with Ayala's unfortunate 40th-minute own goal.

Argentina stars Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi were unable to impose themselves on the match and were marked out of the game by well-organised opponents.

Brazil earned a memorable third goal after 69 minutes, Vagner Love breaking free down the left and slotted an inch-perfect pass between two defenders to Alves.

Argentina's miserable night was summed up when Tevez had an 80th-minute effort ruled out for offside.

Meanwhile, in the third-place play-off in Caracas, Uruguay captain Diego Lugano was sent off in the 38th minute and Mexico took full advantage, winning 3-1.

  • Brazil coach Dunga:
    "My players demonstrated they're capable of great things.

    "Argentina was the favourite of the press and everyone - but the game is decided on the field over 90 minutes.

    "We came to rescue the self-esteem of the Brazilian worker, who wakes up in the morning and returns home late at night, whose only satisfaction in life is seeing Brazil win a football match."

  • Brazil striker Robinho:
    "Lots of people criticised our team, but we're the champions."

  • Argentina striker Carlos Tevez:
    "We knew we had to be awake today, but instead we were caught falling asleep.

    "It makes you angry being unable to win and close out an exceptional tournament."

  • Argentina midfielder Esteban Cambiasso:
    "We're totally ruined. A loss like this you feel deep in your soul."

    Tim Vickery column
    16 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Brazil reach Copa America final
    11 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Argentina to meet Brazil in final
    12 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Messi's magic goal
    12 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Argentina and Mexico reach semis
    09 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Brazil sink Chile to reach semis
    08 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Robinho hat-trick revives Brazil
    02 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Tevez nets in Argentina victory
    29 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Brazil beaten as shocks continue
    28 Jun 07 |  Internationals


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