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Brazil's Copa America opener ends in frustrating draw with Costa Rica

Brazil's Copa America campaign got off to a stuttering start as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Costa Rica in their opening Group D game.

Brazil had won 10 of the 11 previous meetings between the sides, and that trend looked sure to continue as they dominated possession from the opening whistle.

But Costa Rica's defence held firm to leave Brazil two points behind group leaders Colombia after the first round of fixtures.

Brazil's first proper chance came in the 25th minute, when Raphinha found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat but was unable to escape a desperate defensive effort from Patrick Sequeira.

With all the momentum, Brazil continued to search for the opening goal and Lucas Paqueta missed from close range.

The pressure looked to have paid off in the 29th minute when Marquinhos found the back of the net from a corner, but his effort was ruled out for offside after a VAR check.

Brazil remained camped in Costa Rica's half for the rest of the period, but were unable to claim a breakthrough before the interval despite having 75 per cent possession.

The second half started much the same as the first ended, with Brazil increasingly desperate to find a route through Costa Rica's defence.

Raphinha again came close to breaking the deadlock in the 59th minute but was unable to force the ball home after a scramble in the box.

Brazil brought on young Real Madrid-bound star Endrick to a raucous reception in the 70th minute as they continued to search for a breakthrough.

But he could not inspire a winner and Brazil's last chance came and went when Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes saw his late strike narrowly go over the crossbar.
 

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