Brazil defender Thiago Silva said the team did not deserve to be booed after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Venezuela in the Copa America on Tuesday.
The Selecao scored three times at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador but they were all disallowed, two of them following a video assistant referee review, and the hosts were booed off at the final whistle.
Silva told SporTV (h/t Goal):
“In my opinion [the boos] were undeserved, mostly because Venezuela had very few chances, we worked well defensively, the team was well structured. We could hardly push the pace because they were very defensive. “Sometimes we rushed the last pass, tried to work it quickly and failed. We lost some of the confidence as the match went on. “But I believe that we were good tonight, as a whole. But that’s it, when you don’t score it seems that everything went all wrong.”
Team-mate Filipe Luis added that while “there are no rookies here” and every player has experienced being jeered at some point in their careers, “if the fans don’t help and prefer to boo the team, or even chanting ‘ole’ to the opponent, then only Brazil will lose.”
“We’ll try to respond to this by playing, working hard and giving our best,” he added. “It wasn’t the match we expected, but no one here spared any effort.”
Brazil won their opening Group A game with Bolivia 3-0, but the home fans also vented their frustration at the team when the two sides went in goalless at half-time in that match.
On Tuesday, Roberto Firmino thought he had broken the deadlock shortly before half-time, but his effort was disallowed by the referee for a Brazilian foul in the buildup.
Gabriel Jesus tucked home a ball from the Liverpool forward on the hour mark, but that was ruled out by VAR for an offside against the latter.
Firmino was also penalised for a handball by VAR when Coutinho netted from close range in the 87th minute, following good work from Everton to get to the byline on the left.
Sports journalist Jonas Giaever felt all three decisions were the right call:
Jonas Giæver @CheGiaevara
…. but it is called off for an offside on Roberto Firmino. Again. This is the third goal that has been called off now, and they have all been correct. Still think VAR is not necessary in today’s game? Think again!
Outside of the disallowed goals, the Selecao struggled to trouble Venezuela’s goal despite largely dominating proceedings:
37-1 – In the 0-0 draw against Venezuela, Brazil 🇧🇷 attempted their most crosses (37) but had their least shots on target (1) in a game of the last four Copa America tournaments (2011, 2015, 2016, 2019). Blurry. #CopaAmerica https://t.co/OXRlRwrLEv
Football journalist Simon Edwards felt Venezuela deserved great credit for their defensive display:
Simon Edwards @SimonEdwardsSAF
Brazil 0-0 Venezuela Wonderful defensive performance from Venezuela, they had so many decisions to make across the 90 and got almost all of them right. Hugely impressive and they only had to be saved by wonderkid Wuilker once. Rondon is one of the best target men in the world.
Brazil’s attacking players will be under extra scrutiny at this year’s tournament after Neymar was ruled out with an ankle injury shortly before it began.
The Paris Saint-Germain star is their most potent weapon in the final third, but with the likes of Coutinho, Firmino and Jesus on the pitch, Brazil still have one of the strongest attacking lineups at the tournament.
Brazil can top Group A if they beat Peru in their final match on Saturday, though a draw would likely suffice. The two sides are level on four points but the Selecao have a superior goal difference, while Venezuela-who have two points-are yet to score or concede at the tournament.
A comfortable win could build confidence and momentum heading into the knockout phase, as well as getting supporters back on side.