(Reuters) – Without forward Neymar and several other holders, the Brazilian team was in a 1-1 draw with Ecuador this Sunday, in Goiânia, in their last match of the Copa América group stage.
Brazil had already secured the lead in Group B, so coach Tite spared some starters, including Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Casemiro, Fred, Danilo and Richarlison, and the team played its worst game in Copa América, losing 100 % in competition.
The other qualifiers in the key to the quarter finals are Peru, Colombia and Ecuador. Venezuela is eliminated.
“We knew it would be a difficult game. In the first half we managed to neutralize their way of playing, they managed to work the ball well and score the goal, and in the second half they found the goal and this complicated our style of play a little, but I believe we fought until the Final. The objective was to win, but the main objective was to finish first and we did it”, said midfielder Lucas Paquetá.
“Now we have to work hard this week and be prepared for each final to come, because each game will be a final and we have to go in full force to get the win.”
Brazil plays the quarter-finals dispute next Friday against the fourth-placed Group A, which could be Chile or Uruguay — the definition of positions takes place after Monday’s round.
After 10 minutes, Ecuador scared with a shot almost from the midfield of Valencia that went over the goal saved by Alisson.
The first chances of Brazil had the participation of Lucas Paquetá. At 14, he shot from outside the area and goalkeeper Galíndez saved. Shortly after, the midfielder gave a great pass to Gabriel, who faced the goalkeeper, but played weakly, facilitating the defense. On minute 27, a shot by Paquetá from the edge of the area went very close to the crossbar.
Who opened the scoring, at 37 minutes, was the defender Militão, who headed in after Everton Cebolinha free kick on the right.
At the start of the second half, Ecuador pressed for a draw and, after two deflected shots that went close to the goal, managed to swing the net. At 7 minutes, after an aerial play, Valencia shook his head and Mena kicked hard to equalize.
The first Brazilian submission in the second stage only occurred at 21 minutes, in a cross from the left that Vinicius Jr stretched out, but couldn’t hit the ball squarely.
Brazil continued to struggle to create chances and ended up losing its first points in this Copa America.
(By Tatiana Ramil)
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