RIO DE JENERIO, July 19 (Agencies): Brazil’s media were scathing on Monday after the national team were unceremoniously dumped from the Copa America by Paraguay in a quarterfinal penalty shoot-out.
The Paraguayans were on the rack for much of the match but the Brazilians, the holders of the trophy, wasted several chances and then missed all four of their spot-kicks as their rivals advanced 2-0 to a semi-final with Venezuela.
“Historic incompetence,” was the verdict of national daily O Globo, which saw the five-time world champions eliminated “in embarrassing fashion”.
O Globo noted the match had taken place on the anniversary of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup success over Italy, which likewise came in a shoot-out following a goalless draw.
Correio Braziliense was no less forgiving.
“What incompetence!” was the glaring headline in the paper, which added that the manner of the exit “places a question mark over the work of coach Mano Menezes and over his remaining in the job until the 2014 World Cup”.
Menezes, who took over from Dunga after a quarter-final exit to Holland at last summer’s World Cup, said all along that the 2014 event, which Brazil will host for the first time since 1950, is the overriding priority – but that could not mask current shortcomings in the media’s eyes.
Correio Braziliense said that Menezes’ insistence that the poor state of the pitch had played a major role in their exit was farcical.
“After the Brazilians’ disastrous showing, they tried to shift the blame and were unanimous in pinning it on the pitch,” the paper wrote.
Jornal de Brasilia summed things up by saying: “Brazil did not manage to score a goal in normal time, nor in extra-time, and, worse still, not even in the penalty shoot-out.”
The same paper published a picture of young starlet Neymar covering his face at the end, accompanied by the caption: “They cannot hide their shame. It seems like a joke in poor taste – but it isn’t.
“Brazil achieved the unthinkable – they were given four penalties and missed the lot.”