Brazil takes the stage in the Copa América and disappoints against Costa Rica

Brazil settled for an unexpected 0-0 draw against Costa Rica in their Copa América opener at SoFi Stadium, Inglewood. Despite dominating the game and creating multiple chances, the Seleção struggled with poor finishing and a lack of inspiration.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 12:29, 25 Jun 2024

Brazil settled for an unthinkable 0-0 draw against modest Costa Rica in the first round of Group D of the Copa América, held at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. This result has left fans and pundits alike questioning the current state of the Seleção.

The Seleção registered their fifth consecutive official match without a win, following four in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, in a game where they attacked a lot but almost always poorly. The lack of a decisive finish and the absence of a clinical edge in their play were glaring issues throughout the match.

The game was one-sided, directed towards Costa Rica's goal, a team that couldn't manage a single shot in the 90 minutes. However, Brazil showed that it remains in a crisis of results and identity, partly because it no longer has the players of previous eras. The current squad, while talented, lacks the same level of star power and consistency that characterized past Brazilian teams.

Despite the poor performance, Brazil had several clear chances to score but showed a significant lack of inspiration and confidence. Credit must also be given to the defensive scheme set up by Argentine coach Gustavo Alfaro and, ultimately, to goalkeeper Patrick Sequeira. Sequeira's heroics in goal were crucial in maintaining the clean sheet for Costa Rica.

With Porto players Wendell, Pepê, and Evanilson on the bench, from where they did not come out, the Brazilians started dominantly and quickly created two chances, with shots from Raphinha, a former Vitória and Sporting player, at seven minutes, and Rodrygo, at twelve minutes. These early opportunities set the tone for what many expected to be a dominant performance.

The Brazilian monologue continued, but the danger only reappeared at the 25-minute mark when goalkeeper Patrick Sequeira saved another shot from Raphinha, who was set up by Rodrygo. This was followed, at 26 minutes, by a header from Paquetá that went wide. The inability to convert these chances into goals was a recurring theme throughout the match.

Until halftime, Brazil thought they had scored at the 30-minute mark, but Marquinhos was millimetrically offside. This was followed by missed shots from Paquetá and Rodrygo. These missed opportunities further frustrated the team and their supporters.

At the beginning of the second half, Rodrygo had more chances at 47 and 60 minutes, but he failed to capitalize on them. At 63 minutes, the goal was even closer when Paquetá's shot hit the left post. These near-misses underscored the team's struggle to find the back of the net.

Shortly after, the substitutions began, with Alfaro bringing on, among others, former Sporting player Joel Campbell, and Dorival Júnior successively introducing Savinho, Endrick, replacing the ineffective Vinícius Júnior, and Martinelli. These changes were attempts to inject new energy and creativity into the Brazilian attack.

The best chance for Brazil ended up being a header towards his own goal by Haxzel Quirós at 72 minutes, which Sequeira saved with difficulty. This unexpected near-own goal highlighted Costa Rica's defensive resilience and a bit of luck.

Arana, at 79 minutes, Rodrygo, at 87 minutes, Bruno Guimarães, with a shot that just missed the left post at 90+1 minutes, and Paquetá, at 90+3 minutes, squandered Brazil's last great opportunities, with the "ticos" heroically holding on until the final whistle. The inability to convert these late chances sealed Brazil's fate for the match.

In the second round, Brazil will face Paraguay, who debuted with a 2-1 loss to Colombia, Costa Rica's next opponent. This upcoming match will be crucial for Brazil as they seek to rebound and find their form in the tournament. The pressure is mounting on the Seleção to deliver a performance that lives up to their storied reputation in international football.

Updated: 12:29, 25 Jun 2024