Brazil beat Argentina 4-2 on penalties to win an absorbing Copa America final in Lima on Sunday.

The current world champions triumph looked unlikely after Cesar Delgado put the Argentines 2-1 ahead on 87 minutes.

But Adriano, with his seventh goal of the competition, forced an equaliser in the third minute of injury time.

With no extra-time being played, Brazil then converted their first four penalties to claim the trophy after Andres D’Alessandro and Gabriel Heinze had missed for Argentina.

Earlier, Argentina went ahead with a 20th-minute penalty from Kily Gonzalez.

But as half-time appproached, Brazil levelled the scores when defender Luisao nodded home Alex’s free-kick.

“We never thought it would be easy,” said Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

“Argentina came with all these experienced players, but our team proved they are capable of overcoming any difficulties.”

“It’s always important in Brazilian football to get results but even if we hadn’t got results, it would have been worth it because of the players we’ve been able to observe,” he said.

“The Mexican team, for example, have reached their limit,” Parreira said of the team which Brazil beat 4-0 in their quarter-final.

“They brought their full-strength team here and they have six or seven players in their early thirties.

“We have players here who will still be young enough to play at the 2010 World Cup,” he added.

“We have opened up new possibilities for Brazilian football in the future.”

However, Parreira admitted that his big-name players would return to the team for Brazil’s next competitive match, a World Cup qualifier at home to Bolivia in early September.

“We are not duty-bound to keep everyone who’s been here in the team,” he said.

“But a lot of things can happen between now and 2006 and a player who has been here is much closer to a place than somebody who has not.

“These players will all be very useful Brazilian national team, nobody has any doubt about that.

“All these players are regulars in important teams and are internationally recognised. The only thing they hadn’t done was play in the Brazilian national team.

“They all made the most of their chance. We have a very good generation and we have a marvellous future ahead of us,” he added.

Argentina midfielder Javier Zanetti was distraught at the end of the match.

“There are things that can’t be explained in soccer,” he said.

“That’s what happened against Brazil, we can’t explain what went wrong.”

Copa America final

Brazil 2-2 Argentina

Brazil win 4-2 on penalties


Brazil – Luisao 45+1, Adriano 90+3

Argentina – Cristian Gonzalez 20pen, Cesar Delgado 87

Halftime: 1-1

Attendance: 43,000

Brazil – 1-Julio Cesar; 13-Maicon, 3-Luisao (5-Cris 82), 4-Juan, 6-Gustavo Nery; 5-Renato, 8-Kleberson (19-Diego 54), 10-Alex (20-Felipe, 63), 11-Edu; 9-Luis Fabiano, 7-Adriano

Argentina:– 1-Roberto Abbondanzieri; 22-Fabricio Coloccini, 2-Roberto Ayala, 6-Gabriel Heinze; 8-Javier Zanetti, 5-Javier Mascherano, 3-Juan Pablo Sorin: 16-Luis Gonzalez (10-Andres D’Alessandro, 75); 21-Mauro Rosales (19-Cesar Delgado, 64), 11-Carlos Tevez (4-Facundo Quiroga, 90+2), 18-Cristian Gonzalez

Referee: Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay)

Penalties (Argentina first)

Andres D’Alessandro missed 0-0

0-1 Adriano scored

Gabriel Heinze missed 0-1

0-2 Edu scored

Cristian Gonzalez scored 1-2

1-3 Diego scored

Juan Pablo Sorin scored 2-3

2-4 Juan scored