Brazil sensationally missed all four of their penalties in a penalty shootout against Paraguay as they crashed out of the Copa America at the quarter final stage. Unlike previous games at the competition, Brazil dominated the match from start to finish. Â But on this occasion they were unable to find the back of the net and the game went to the lottery of a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of goalless football.
The penalty shootout â€“ which Brazil lost 2-0 â€“ must go down as one of the worst in Brazilâ€™s history. Elano, Thiago Silva, AndrÃ© Santos and Fred all missed their spot kicks for Brazil. Thiago Silvaâ€™s penalty (what was he doing taking one anyway?) was stuffed down the goalkeeperâ€™s throat and saved. Elano and AndrÃ© Santosâ€™ both blasted high over the goal and Fred put his spot kick wide. It has to be said that the pitch was a disgrace and you could clearly see the turf underneath the ball being lifted (by the playerâ€™s leading foot) just before being kicked by AndrÃ© Santos and Fred. Iâ€™d put that penalty shootout loss down to the Argentinian groundsman.
However, Brazilâ€™s main failure was their inability to convert chances. Neymar, Lucio and Pato all had excellent chances to score but good goalkeeping and poor finishing meant that the game would end 120 minutes without goals. Pato in particular was in frustrating mood once again. Beautiful ball control when it didnâ€™t matter. Played in with just the keeper to beat and he overruns the ball. Neymar missed two clear chances. Ganso gave some good passes once again but was generally slow and uninvolved. He seems to be struggling for form following his injury problems this year and his market value will definitely have gone down after this tournament. Will anybody now (apart from Anzhi from Russia) be willing to meet his 45 million euro release clause?
They may be local superstars but Neymar and Ganso have both been given a hard lesson about international football: it is far more intense and competitive than domestic football in Brazil. They also donâ€™t get the same kind of protection from referees like they do in Brazil.
My player ratings:
Julio CÃ©sar (6) a spectator for 120 minutes
Maicon (6) not the same kind of presence and drive that he showed against Ecuador
Lucio (7) solid
Thiago (7) same as Lucio
AndrÃ© Santos (6) did alright
Lucas Leiva (6) did his job but nothing more. Stupidly sent off
Ramires (7) ran around a lot again, made some things happen (more good than bad)
Robinho (7) probably Brazilâ€™s best player on the night
Ganso (6) some glimpses of quality but drifted in and out of the game
Neymar (6) struggled to find space and missed two clear chances
Pato (5) missed chances again and needs to lead the line much better
Fred (5) really didnâ€™t do anything after coming on for Neymar
Lucas Moura (7) his direct running looked a threat
Elano (5) blasted his penalty high and wide
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