Philippe Coutinho scored a brace as Brazil opened the Copa America with a 3-0 win over Bolivia in Sao Paulo.After an underwhelming first half at Estadio do Morumbi, Coutinho scored twice within eight minutes of the restart to put Brazil in control on Friday.A VAR check and handball led Coutinho to the penalty spot and the Barcelona star made no mistake in the 50th minute before making it 2-0 three minutes later after capping a sweeping move. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Everton came off the bench and scored the goal of the night with a blistering effort from outside the area in the 84th minute as the Selecao – who have won the Copa on each of the previous four occasions they have hosted in 1919, 1922, 1949 and 1989 – made a winning start in Group A.GOOOOOOOOOL DO BRASIL! Mais um gol de Philippe Coutinho, agora de cabeça!!2 x 0 | #JogaBola #BRAxBOL pic.twitter.com/sHeGi03rzs— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) June 15, 2019Playing without superstar Neymar after he was ruled out of the tournament with an ankle injury, 2018 World Cup quarter-finalists Brazil dominated but struggled to create any real clear-cut chances.Thiago Silva saw a header flash wide of the post and Casemiro came close with an audacious effort for Brazil, who had 77 per cent of the possession in the opening 45 minutes.The half-time whistle was met by a chorus of boos around the stadium amid a subdued atmosphere as Brazil failed to impress against Bolivia – a nation in which they had won nine and drawn two of the past 11 games on home soil, scoring 46 goals and conceding just four times.But a VAR check helped ease some of the tension and pressure with the ground after Adrian Jusino was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area.Coutinho successfully converted the spot-kick before he completed a quick-fire double after latching on to Roberto Firmino’s cross at the back post.The result was never in doubt from that point as Brazil turned the boos into cheers in the south-west of Sao Paulo, where substitute Everton scored a stunning long-range goal with six minutes remaining. What does it mean? Brazil up and running with 100th winSeeking a ninth Copa title and first since 2007, Tite’s Brazil got the job done in Friday’s curtain-raiser. It was not perfect but the Selecao managed to claim their 100th Copa victory.Coutinho takes centre stageThe Barcelona attacker struggled at Camp Nou in 2018-19, leading to speculation of a possible return to the Premier League via Chelsea or Manchester United. Coutinho, however, stepped up when Brazil needed him most with his first international brace since scoring a hat-trick against Haiti at the Copa America Centenario.Improvement needed by BrazilIf the half-time boos were any indication, Brazil did not meet expectations prior to the break. Richarlison and Roberto Firmino were virtually non-existent in the first half, while Coutinho and David Neres struggled to make an impact. The Selecao did beat Bolivia but they will be punished against better opposition if they do not improve.What’s next?Brazil will look to make it two wins from two against Venezuela on Tuesday, while Bolivia face Peru on the same day. read more
The United Nations-backed International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea today ordered that Russia release the Greenpeace ship and its crew that it seized in September following a protest over oil drilling off its coast, once the Netherlands posts a bond of 3.6 million euros.The Arctic Sunrise – an icebreaker operated by the environmental group and which flies the flag of the Netherlands – was boarded by Russian officials on 19 September, brought to the port of Murmansk Oblast and detained.Last month, the Netherlands instituted arbitral proceedings against Russia under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, claiming that that the arrest and detention of the vessel and its crew by Russia violated the treaty. It also requested that the Tribunal, based in the German city of Hamburg, prescribe provisional measures pending the arbitral proceedings. By a vote of 19 to 2, the Tribunal’s judges today ordered that, pending arbitration, Russia “shall immediately release the vessel Arctic Sunrise and all persons who have been detained, upon the posting of a bond or other financial security by the Netherlands which shall be in the amount of 3,600,000 euros…”The Arctic Sunrise was used by Greenpeace International, a non-governmental organization, to stage a protest against the offshore ice-resistant fixed platform ‘Prirazlomnaya’ in the Barents Sea.