Pasadena, June 4: Five-time world champions Brazil will take on an energetic Ecuador in their opening game of Group B in Copa America 2016 Centenario at the Rose Bowl Stadium here on Saturday (June 4). [The match will be telecast Live on Sony ESPN TV from 7.30 am on Sunday, June 5]
Brazil will miss a number of key faces like Neymar, Douglas Costa and Kaka and will face a challenge in bringing back their glory under former World Cup-winning captain Dunga who took over as the coach in 2015, a year after the country suffered a heart-breaking 1-7 loss to current champions Germany in their own den in the World cup semi-final. [Colombia defeat hosts USA 2-0]
The Selecao also had a disappointing Copa America campaign last year as they lost to Paraguay in the quarter-finals. [Copa, Euro: Separated by the Atlantic, it's a virtual World Cup]
The top scorer in the current Brazil squad is Hulk who has 12 goals for the national team and 21 goals for Zenit St. Petersburg. Paulo Ganso, the replacement for the top offensive stars like Costa and Kaka, has never scored an international goal and has netted the ball just nine times in 101 matches for his club Sao Paolo.
So now it is Paulo Ganso who is going to be replacing Brazil's top offensive stars. But Ganso is not an offensive star, having never scored for the national side and only scoring nine goals in 101 matches for his club side Sao Paolo.
Brazil's top scorer on the current team? Hulk, who has 12 goals for the national side and had 21 goals for Zenit St. Petersburg.
Brazil have beaten Ecuador 24 in 29 games so far while the latter has won only 2
Ecuador, on the other hand, remains an unknown package for the former champions. The side, which started well in the World Cup qualifiers but failed in recent rounds, has some good players in Enner Valencia, Antonio Valencia and Jefferson Montero.
Ecuador remains an unknown quantity at this point, starting strong in the World Cup qualifiers last fall, but falling off in recent rounds. The current side boasts some solid players, including Enner Valencia, Antonio Valencia and Jefferson Montero.
Haiti and Peru, the two other teams in the same group, will also play their first game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Saturday [5 am IST on Sunday].