Hosts Brazil kicked off the 2019 Copa America with a 3-0 win against Bolivia but had to overcome halftime jeers from the crowd, as the team also wore a white kit for the first time since their infamous World Cup defeat in 1950.
Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho scored twice in the space of the opening 10 minutes of the second half against Bolivia – the second of which was a penalty – while Gremio forward Everton added a third late on to ensure Tite’s team started their home campaign with a win at Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paolo.
Without star man Neymar, who has been ruled out of the tournament with an ankle ligament injury, Brazil went in at halftime with boos ringing in their ears after a disappointing opening.
However, they kicked on in the second half thanks to Coutinho and a superb curled effort from the 23-year-old Everton, meaning they sit top of Group A.
Brazil were wearing a white kit for the first time since 1950, when the color was ditched as “unlucky” following their shock defeat to Uruguay in the decisive game of their home World Cup.
Brazil have been synonymous with their famous yellow ever since, but together with kit manufacturers Nike they resurrected white shirts in a nod to the centenary of the nation’s first-ever Copa America-winning team of 1919.
Favorites Brazil are aiming to win the competition for a ninth time overall and for the first time since 2007. Next up are Venezuela on Tuesday in Salvador.
Much-fancied rivals Argentina – with star man Lionel Messi – open their campaign against Colombia on Saturday night in Salvador, aiming to put the pain behind them of losing on penalties in the final of the last two editions of the tournament.