Five-times World Cup champions Brazil played out a goalless draw against Venezuela in their second Group-A fixture of the Copa America 2019 at the Arena Fonte Nova, Brazil on Tuesday. The hosts are now placed on top of the table with four points from two matches while Venezuela is placed third after playing out draws in their two group stage games.
The Selecao, after a poor but effective performance against Bolivia, played a much better game against the La Vinotino but could not break the deadlock despite finding the net three times in the match. Three goals of the host were disqualified with one being a foul and the other two reversed by VAR due to offside calls. All the three cancelled goals had Roberto Firmino involved.
The match started out with Brazil attacking from the beginning upping the tempo of the attack gradually to draw first blood. But they were continuously defied by the resilient defence of Venezuela and moreover their finishing was pretty poor. Finally, when Firmino put the ball inside the net from a right-footed shot, it got cancelled as the Liverpool striker pushed a Venezuelan defender while taking the shot.
In the second half, the same story continued much to the agony of the Brazil fans. The Green and Yellow brigade were not delivering good balls in the final third and the confidence of the Venezuelan defenders increased. Shortly after half-time, Gabriel Jesus smashed home a ball received from Firmino in between the legs of the Venezuelan goal-keeper but the goal was disallowed after a review showed that the Liverpool striker was offside when the ball deflected off a Venezuelan defender.
In the dying minutes of the match, Philippe Coutinho scored a goal from close-range which was also reversed as the ball took a deflection of Firmino who was in front of the net. If the Liverpool forward could have not touched the ball then it would not have been disallowed.
Filipe Luis was quoted by The Washington Post as saying, "We did everything we could to try to win this match. We had many scoring chances, we controlled the game, but we couldn't come away with the victory."
The Brazilian team had to face the ire of the abusive crowd present at the stadium who were continuously booing them throughout the match.
"Obviously it doesn't help when the fans are against us, chanting 'ole' for our opponent. In the end, that doesn't help anybody. We need to keep fighting and keep giving our best to try to change things," added Filipe Luis.
On the other hand, Peru defeated Bolivia 3-1 to go to the second spot in the group. The group will be decided on Saturday when Brazil face Peru in Sao Paulo and Venezuela face Bolivia in Belo Horizonte. The top two teams in each group advance to the next round, along with the two best third-place finishers.