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Brazil's Nightmare Continues, Thanks To Possible Illegal Goal In Copa America

Peru's Raul Ruidiaz (left) scored on Brazil to give his team a 1-0 edge just before the end of regulation time in their Copa America game Sunday night. Brazil is now eliminated from the group stage for the first time since 1987.
Steven Senne

It was Peru's first win over Brazil in 30 years — but the play that sealed the 1-0 upset is being criticized and debated, as the goal seemingly relied on a Peruvian player using his arm to deflect the ball past Brazil's goalkeeper.

The controversial goal came from Raul Ruidiaz, on what Fox Sports calls "a pretty blatant handball." See the video yourself:

Seemingly as soon as the ball hit the back of the net, Brazil's goalie and other players ran to the official, calling for a hand-ball. But it was not to be, and Brazil, which needed to achieve only a draw in Sunday's game to advance, was instead sent home after earning a third-place finish in Group B of the tournament.

It didn't take long for some to call the play, which came at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., "Hand of God II" — a nod to Diego Maradona, the legendary Argentine player who helped his team beat England with a controversial goal in 1986 that was dubbed " mano de Dios," or hand of God.

In Argentina, the Diario Ole took a jab at a fierce rival, tweeting images of the crucial play with Maradona's head Photoshopped onto Ruidiaz's body — and printing a cover today with the crucial play under the headline "La Mano De Adios."

Soccer's international governing body doesn't rely on instant-replay review of plays like the one in question; we'll also note that Sunday night's result might add momentum to the calls for changing that policy, as Brazil has now failed to advance from the group stage of the Copa America tournament for the first time since 1987.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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