Jun 06, 2016

    Flat start for Brazil with stalemate


    BRAZIL were reprieved by a controversial disallowed goal as they squandered several chances in a 0-0 draw with Ecuador in their Copa America Group B opener on Saturday.

    Despite seeing their team come close several times, the Selecao travelling support had to settle for a single point as the eight-time champions lost momentum in the second half at Pasadena's Rose Bowl.

    The game was overshadowed by a controversial line decision in the 66th minute as Brazil goalkeeper Alisson fumbled an innocuous Miller Bolanos cross into his own net.

    The ball was judged to have gone out of play before it reached the Roma keeper, sparking an angry backlash from the Ecuador squad, who said the call was wrong and had cost them victory.

    "The linesman is so sure of himself even though he is 50m away," said Ecuador head coach Gustavo Quinteros, adding that "unfortunately the referee again has made a mistake in favour of the stronger team".

    The game began at an intense tempo with a flurry of chances at either end in front of a disappointing crowd of 53,158 which filled just over half of the stadium, the venue of Brazil's 1994 World Cup final victory over Italy.

    Brazil were without several first-choice players, most notably their talismanic captain Neymar, and they were clearly missing the Barcelona forward's bite.

    Dunga's five-time World Cup winners face Haiti on Wednesday in Orlando, where they will be expected to win comfortably.