Wednesday, June 18, 2014 3:57 pm
RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – Brazilian media on Wednesday urged their World Cup favorites to pull their socks up after a goalless draw with Mexico held up passage to the second phase.
Folha de Sao Paulo did not mince its words with a scathing attack.
“Brazil played badly. It’s their worst start since 1978 and sows doubt as to their ability to face the big (teams) at the Cup,” the paper lamented.
The same paper added a commentary which described a “horror show” by Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men.
O Estado de Sao Paulo found Brazil had been undone, nonetheless, not so much by themselves but by the brilliance of Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa, who produced an inspired performance.
“The Selecao were not that good against Mexico, a gutsy and disciplined opponent.
“But they could have left the field as victors had it not been for the excellent showing of keeper and match hero Ochoa.”
Estado — and Rio paper O Dia — drew attention to Marcelo’s failure to win a penalty after going down under pressure in the box.
In their opening game against Croatia, Fred had earned a controversial spotkick and Globo quoted skipper Thiago Silva as storming “if there hadn’t been so much talk about Fred the referee would have given it today.”
O Dia quoted Marcelo as saying “he pushed me so I thought, ‘penalty.’
But referee Cuneyt Cakir “didn’t fall for it,” O Dia noted.
The same paper swooned over Ochoa’s “miraculous stops which prevented Brazil from winning — notably his “fantastic” stop from a Neymar header which drew widespread comparison with Gordon Banks’ leap to deny Pele in 1970.
“Draw leaves Brazil in a tangle,” Rio concluded to accompany a photograph of starlet Neymar, head bowed, gripping the back of the Mexican net in frustration.
Globo was matter-of-fact in its disappointment.
“Brazil continues without convincing,” the daily wrote.
Despite the stalemate, some Brazilians were happy with their day, however.
Globo highlighted how 15 kuikuro Indians who obtained tickets via an allocation for the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) had watched Russia’s draw with South Korea in the central western city of Cuiaba.
The group, whose tribe live in communities along the Xingu River, a southeast tibutary of the Amazon, endured a five-hour boat trip followed by 13 hours more on a bus to get to the Pantanal Arena.
“I never thought we would attend a World Cup and mingle with people from other countries,” group leader Nedino Maizokie said.