Brazil miss Neymar and Jesus as 10-game winning run ends in Copa America

Reigning champions had already qualified for last eight before 1-1 draw with Ecuador

Ecuador held a below-strength Brazil to a 1-1 draw on Sunday to secure a spot in the Copa America quarterfinals.

Brazil stars Neymar, defender Thiago Silva and striker Gabriel Jesus were all missing at the Olimpico Stadium in Goiania.

The draw moved Ecuador to fourth spot in Group B, eliminating Venezuela and likely setting up a quarterfinal against Argentina. Brazil had already secured top spot in the group before the match, allowing coach Tite to continue testing his lineup with an eye on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The defending champions opened the scoring in the 37th minute with a header by Eder Militao after a corner. Angel Mena equalised for Ecuador in the 53rd when he finished with an angled shot in front of goalkeeper Alisson. The draw ended a streak of 10 consecutive Brazil wins.

Brazil's next challenge will be either against Uruguay or Chile, the two teams which can finish fourth in Group A.

Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro feels certain his team will face Argentina in the next stage of the tournament, but adds the draw with Brazil gives him confidence.

“We know who we are and that we can have a good game like the ones we had against Colombia, Peru and Brazil. There's no reason why we couldn't do it against Argentina,” said Alfaro, who is Argentinian.

“We respect the hierarchy of Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina, but we don't fear. I want them to play like they have played so far.”

Brazil defender Marquinhos said the game against Ecuador was important for Brazil “so all players of the squad could have at least some time of play, so everyone can be ready when knockout begins.

“Also players who were tired had some rest so they can go to the knockout and play their best.”

Peru beat Venezuela 1-0 with a goal from Andre Carillo from close range in the 48th minute. The Venezuelans needed a win to progress to the playoff stage. The Peruvians started the tournament being hammered by Brazil 4-0, but recovered after a 2-1 win over Colombia. The 2-2 draw against Ecuador had already put the team close to securing a knockout stage place.

Group B ended with Brazil on 10 points, followed by Peru (7), Colombia (4), Ecuador (3) and Venezuela (2). The top four in each group advance. Argentina lead Group A, which will be decided on Monday.

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