Brazil fear fiasco at home again

Brazil's Jesus Gabriel is thwarted by Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed during their 0-0 draw. The hosts must beat Denmark tomorrow or risk a humiliating knockout in the group stage.
Brazil's Jesus Gabriel is thwarted by Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed during their 0-0 draw. The hosts must beat Denmark tomorrow or risk a humiliating knockout in the group stage.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE

RIO DE JANEIRO • Brazil face another embarrassing exit from a major football tournament on home soil, after their star player Neymar slumbered through a second 0-0 draw of Rio 2016 against Iraq on Sunday.

The Olympic hosts need to beat group leaders Denmark tomorrow to avoid a stunning exit, just two years after their devastating 7-1 World Cup defeat by Germany.

Neymar was expected to ease Brazilian football's wounded pride by delivering a first-ever Olympic gold for the five-time world champions.

However, the Barcelona star was eclipsed.

And, just as in their opening stalemate against South Africa, Brazil were booed from the field in Brasilia on Sunday as they paid for their profligacy in front of goal.

"We didn't manage to play our football," said coach Rogerio Micale. "We apologise to the fans, to the people of Brasilia who filled the stadium to support the team, but we didn't manage to give them a response."

  • 0

    Number of goals Brazil have scored in two matches in Rio.

Portugal and Nigeria were the first sides to seal their places in the quarter-finals, with victories over Honduras and Sweden respectively.

There were also wins for Argentina, Denmark and Mexico.

In contrast to his display against South Africa when he was labelled "greedy", Neymar was a peripheral figure against Iraq and lost his cool when he fired the ball at Sherko Kareem in the second-half, as the Iraqi prevented him from taking a quick free kick.

Manchester City's £27 million (S$47.5 million) signing Gabriel Jesus had another night to forget.

After claiming he "wouldn't sleep" after missing an open goal against the South Africans, he skewed a golden chance wide inside two minutes before being removed by Micale early in the second half.

Iraq could even have snatched a shock win, when Mohanad Abdulraheem's first-half header came back off the inside of the post.

Brazil's arch-rivals Argentina got their challenge for a third Olympic gold back on track - following their opening 2-0 defeat by Portugal - with a 2-1 win over Algeria in Rio, with Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa scoring and then setting up Jonathan Calleri's winner. They still need to beat Honduras in their final Group D game tomorrow to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Portugal are assured of their place in the last eight after beating Honduras 2-1.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2016, with the headline 'Brazil fear fiasco at home again'. Print Edition | Subscribe