A strong team, with Neymar leading the way, and several other, highly-rated players also joining the bandwagon, to go with a home support to push the team to create history – win their first ever gold medal at the Olympics – it all seemed perfectly setup for Brazil. However, after two games and two goalless draws, Brazil are staring at elimination, with a victory necessary against Denmark on Wednesday to continue their journey in the men's football tournament of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
On paper, matches against South Africa and Iraq look like two comfortable ones for Brazil, particularly when you have the talents of Barcelona superstar Neymar, Lazio's Felipe Anderson, Gabriel Barbosa, the 19-year-old who has been the subject of bids from Juventus, Inter Milan and Leicester City, and Gabriel Jesus, the latest Pep Guardiola recruit at Manchester City, at your disposal.
However, up against two teams who were organised in defence, with two banks of four shutting out space, Brazil failed to find a way through, with the home team even booed off the pitch after their second consecutive draw in the Olympics on Sunday.
Such is the nature of Group A that all four of the teams still have a chance of going through to the quarterfinals. Brazil's scenario is pretty simple – win and they are through to the knockouts. So, scoring their first goal of Rio 2016, in this match against Denmark, the only team to score a goal in the group and as a result pick up a win, is an absolute must on Wednesday.
Brazil have taken 41 shots in total in their two matches so far, hitting the target on 13 of those occasions, with none of them, obviously, finding the back of the net. The over anxiousness to get that goal cannot be the reason behind not scoring anymore, something the oldest member of the squad – Renato Augusto – is well aware of.
"There's a great deal of anxiety about scoring goals and that is ending up unsettling us and undermining the players' confidence," Augusto told FIFA's official website. "(When it stops going in) you stop having a go and it gets even more difficult."
It will be unthinkable and even more difficult for the home fans to swallow if Brazil go out in the group stages, considering the nightmare the supporters had to go through in the 2014 World Cup, when the Brazilians were thumped beyond recognition by Germany in the semifinals, also on home turf.
"It's hard to analyse," defender Rodrigo Caio said. "We have attackers who are stars for their clubs but I think it's down to the team as a whole. We have to improve both individually and collectively."
Where to Watch Live
Brazil vs Denmark is scheduled for a 10 p.m. local time (6.30 a.m. IST, 2 a.m. BST) start. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: Star Sports. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Brazil: TV: SporTV, Fox Sports and ESPN. Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
Denmark: TV: DR1.
UK: TV: BBC Red Button. Live Streaming: BBC iPlayer.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.