Brazil cruised into the quarter-finals of the Copa America with a thumping 5-0 victory over Peru at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.
The tournament hosts were booed off by their fans after being held to a goalless draw by Venezuela in midweek but they took their frustrations out on previously unbeaten Peru.
The clash between the top two in Group A was as good as over inside the opening 32 minutes with Brazil storming into a 3-0 lead.
Casemiro opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he headed in from close range following a Philippe Coutinho corner and Roberto Firmino made it 2-0 soon after.
The Liverpool forward blocked Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese’s attempted clearance and, after the ball had rebounded back off the post, Firmino collected possession, side-stepped Gallese and tapped in.
Brazil added a third before the break when Everton beat Gallese at his near post with a low drive from outside the box, and the Selecao – looking to win the Copa America for the first time since 2007 – were well on their way to the last eight as group winners.
The scoring did not finish there, though, with Brazil captain Dani Alves emphatically finishing off a one-two with Firmino at the start of the second half, before Chelsea forward Willian made it 5-0 with a brilliant 20-yard effort in the 90th minute.
There was still time after that for Brazil to add a sixth but Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus saw his stoppage-time penalty well saved by Gallese diving to his right.
In the day’s other group match, Venezuela beat Bolivia 3-1 to move above Peru into second place and progress to the knockout stages.
Darwin Machis struck twice for Venezuela before Josef Martinez wrapped up the win after Leonel Justiniano had pulled a goal back for Bolivia.
Tite has denied claims suggesting Brazil spied on Peru using drones ahead of the crucial Copa America group stage game.
After a goal-less draw against Venezuela in their previous game, Brazil need at least a point against Peru to qualify as group A winners.
Frustration followed Tite off the pitch after Peruvian newspaper Libero reported that his team sent a drone to spy on their opponents while training.
The 58-year-old dismissed these reports, reiterating the fact that he would never go to such lengths to win a game of football. Tite maintained that he would rather resign than pay such a high price to win a game.
“Take my word of honour that there was nothing, the word of honour,” he told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Copa America clash, according to GOAL.
“If you have to pay this price to win, I’ll take my cap and go home.”
The winner of this encounter will top Group A and face the better of the teams placed third in groups B and C.
Argentina trained at the Estadio Beira Rio on Friday ahead of their crucial match against Qatar, their third Group B game at the Copa America.
Lionel Messi‘s team have struggled so far in the tournament, losing 2-0 against Colombia in the opening game, followed by a 1-1 draw with Paraguay.
La Albiceleste are bottom of Group B, and must beat Qatar in their final group game on Sunday to progress.
They have just one win from six tournament games – against Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup – since Messi reversed his international retirement in 2016.