After a 1-0 loss to Peru yesterday, the Brazilian national team has been eliminated from the Copa America Centenario. Drawn into a weak group that contained Ecuador, Peru, and Haiti, Brazil was viewed as the clear favorite to finish at the top. Instead, they have seen their first group stage exit in the tournament since 1987. Moreover, it was the nation’s first loss to Peru in a competitive fixture in over three decades.
But the loss to send Brazil packing their bags came with some controversy. In the 75th minute, Raul Ruidiaz of Peru guided the ball past Brazilian keeper Alisson Becker with what seemed to be his hand. After being pestered by Brazilian players, the refs wasted five minutes off the game clock to review the goal, ultimately to confirm its validity. During real-time, it was very difficult to tell what body part the ball came off of. However, using different camera angles and slowing the footage down, it became clear that Ruidiaz used his hand to score the goal. Clear to the point it makes you wonder how all four refs were unable to make the proper call. Check it out for yourself:
Had Brazil tied with Peru, they would have booked their ticket to a knockout stage matchup against Colombia, but one has to wonder how they would have fared in that game based on their recent play. Although thrashing Haiti by six goals, Brazil was unable to score against Ecuador and Peru, giving them a 1-1-1 Copa America record. Just an overall underwhelming international stint for Brazil since being embarrassed by Germany in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.
All eyes now shift onto Brazil’s coach Dunga. After a long stretch of dominance on the national setting, Brazil fans have become restless with their recent spell of mediocrity. Dunga’s pragmatic play style and first team decisions were scrutinized leading up to the tournament and now comes the question of whether he will remain Brazil’s coach. Personally, I’d put more of the blame on the players. It especially doesn’t help when your star player, Neymar, decides not play. Instead he’d rather run around the clubs in NYC with Selena Gomez, or hangout at the NBA Finals with Steph Curry. Can you blame him, I guess?