Coutinho hat-trick as Brazil crush Haiti


ORLANDO: Philippe Coutinho struck a spectacular hat-trick and Renato Augusto scored twice as Brazil crushed Haiti 7-1 in their Copa America Centenario Group B match at the Citrus Bowl on Wednesday.

The result moves Brazil to four points from two games after they were held to a goal-less draw in their opener against Ecuador.

The five-times world champions will complete their group stage against Peru on Sunday.

For Haiti, playing in their first Copa America and their first ever competitive game against the Selecao, a memorable occasion turned into a long night where they were simply unable to match their opponents.

While the quality of the opponent means few overall conclusions about Dunga’s team will be drawn from the game, Coutinho’s laser sharp finishing was another reminder of his growing stature, after a fine season in the Premier League with Liverpool.

“He is really taking advantage of the opportunities he has been given,” said Brazil coach Dunga.

“We have talked quite a lot to him about being the ‘Liverpool Coutinho’ – to take the initiative, be a leading part of the team, all within his own style,” added the coach.