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Winning Copa America on home soil a morale boost for Brazil on their quest for World Cup glory

One of the great things about football is that every game unfolds in a different way. The same two teams can meet each other twice and produce different narratives. Thankfully for the final of the 2019 Copa America, the second meeting between Brazil and Peru proved very different from the first.

In the group game in Sao Paulo, Brazil steamrolled their way to a 5-0 victory. Little more than two weeks later, and a 45-minute flight away in Rio de Janeiro, they had things much harder, with the outcome...

Toe Poke Daily: Peruvian friends trek across South America for Copa America

Shaka Hislop and Gab Marcotti look ahead to Sunday's Copa America final between Brazil and Peru in Rio de Janeiro.

The Toe Poke Daily is here every day to bring you all the weirdest stories, quirkiest viral content and top trolling that the internet has to offer, all in one place.

The sun hadn't even come out yet on May 17 when Kent Samaio and Henry Urrunaga Diaz -- both 31 years of age -- woke up, packed their bags and said goodbye to the ones that woke up to see them. It was almost 4:00 a.m. when they closed the car's doors and went on a quest: to cross South America on their way to Brazil.

The goal was...

Brazil are kings of South America again, but conquering world will be much harder

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian crowds don't usually do collective sighs of relief. Not at the Maracana, not on the pitch once trod by the likes of Zico, Pele and Garrincha and not in a Copa America against a Peru side they whupped 5-0 less than two weeks ago. But if they did, it would have come around the 90th minute when substitute Richarlison smacked his penalty past goalkeeper Pedro Gallese to seal a 3-1 win.

No more miracles. No more twists of fate. No more worrying about being a...

Brazil's massive talent gap leaves Peru needing another superhuman effort in Copa America final

Shaka Hislop and Gab Marcotti look ahead to Sunday's Copa America final between Brazil and Peru in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil and Peru will do battle on Sunday to be crowned kings of South America, as they meet in the Copa America final (stream it at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+). Ahead of their contest, Gabriele Marcotti looks at how the pair got this far and how they'll match up at the Maracana.

The backstory

Brazil went into the Copa America as heavy favourites, despite the loss of Neymar to injury before the tournament, and that hasn't really changed. Coach Tite has restored pride and enthusiasm to the Green and Gold...

Peru are a team transformed, and ageing Chile have no answer in Copa America semifinal

In March, after Peru beat Paraguay and lost to El Salvador, coach Ricardo Gareca mused that his team "are capable of playing anyone on equal terms. But any other team can do the same to us and can beat us." The Copa America has provided plenty of evidence that he was correct.

In its first four games, Peru found the target in only one. Moreover, in its previous two matches, it did not remotely threaten to score a goal. Did such a team have any right to be taking part in a semifinal? Straight out...

Copa America semifinals: Pressure on Brazil and Argentina, while Chile and Peru play with house money

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Gods of Football gifted us two bona fide rivalries in the Copa America semifinals.

Headlining is Brazil vs. Argentina (Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+), the "SuperClasico de las Americas" and, in terms of pedigree, one of the few international matchups that lives up to the hype, usually in terms of quality and almost always in terms of incident.

But the "Pacific derby" -- Chile vs. Peru (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+) -- is an intriguing understudy, rich in a rivalry that often...