Brazil were twice denied by the VAR as the Selecao were frustrated by Venezuela in a 0-0 draw at the Copa America.
Boos and whistles could be heard at Arena Fonte Nova – just like there were in Sao Paulo last week – following Brazil’s scoreless performance in Salvador on Tuesday.
Roberto Firmino had a goal ruled out for a foul in the first half, while Gabriel Jesus’ close-range effort and Philippe Coutinho’s late goal were ruled offside after VAR checks to cap a forgettable evening.
The result left qualification up in the air, with hosts Brazil, Peru and Venezuela vying for the two last-16 spots.
Brazil were booed at half-time of their eventual 3-0 win over Bolivia following a dour and scoreless first half. And the Selecao opened with real intent and intensity against Venezuela.
Arthur – named in the starting XI at the expense of Fernandinho in the only change to the line-up – pulled the strings in midfield and he almost teed up David Neres but the Ajax star fired wide.
Venezuela gave away possession cheaply minutes later and Richarlison almost capitalized as he forced Wuilker Farinez into a low diving save.
While Brazil made a slick start, Venezuela fired a warning as star striker Salomon Rondon – the only member of the squad to have scored more than once in the competition – headed just wide of the post in the 19th minute.
Brazil did find the back of the net via Firmino six minutes before half-time but it was ruled out for a foul on Mikel Villanueva as Tite’s men went into the break deadlocked again, drawing more boos.
Jesus replaced Richarlison during the interval and the substitute thought he made an impact when he buried the ball home just past the hour mark, however, the Manchester City forward’s goal was ruled out for offside against Firmino following a VAR check.
Groans grew around the stadium, while the Selecao were left frustrated at ground level with Venezuela continuing to hold firm against the eight-time champions, who thought they had snatched victory during the closing stages but Coutinho’s goal was ruled out by the VAR.
What does it mean? Pressure mounting on Tite’s Brazil
Group A will go down to the final matchday and Brazil’s position is far from certain. Eliminated in the group phase in 2016, the Selecao are level on four points with Peru, while Venezuela – who have drawn their opening two games – can still make it through.
Venezuela battle to precious point
With 21 wins in 24 previous meetings in all competitions, Brazil were expected to heap further pain on Venezuela. However, Rafael Dudamel’s side had other ideas to keep their slim hopes of qualification alive.
Brazil underwhelm again
Brazil were one of the favorites to win the 2018 World Cup. Tite’s side, however, have hit a wall since exiting in the quarter-finals. Playing in the absence of injured star Neymar, a three-goal second half against lowly Bolivia papered over the cracks. And while Brazil produced an improved performance on Tuesday, the result raised further questions.
Key Opta Facts:
– Brazil have kept eight consecutive clean sheets at home in the Copa America, last conceding against Venezuela in 1989.
– For the first time ever at a Copa America, Venezuela have not lost to the host nation. They had lost the previous 14 such games.
– Brazil are unbeaten in their past 16 Copa America home games, winning nine and drawing seven.
– Three of the four goals cancelled by the VAR at the 2019 Copa America have been scored by Venezuela’s opponents.
Brazil will wrap up proceedings in Group A with a clash against Peru in Sao Paulo on Saturday as Venezuela face Bolivia on the same day in Belo Horizonte.