Brazil wins World Cup qualification in off-pitch drama


Sao Paulo (AP) — Brazil defeated Ecuador 2-0 on Friday to win five consecutive South American World Cup qualifying matches amid potential player rebellion.

Brazil is currently leading the round-robin tournament with 15 points, 4 points behind second-placed Argentina. It seems almost certain that Brazil will be one of the four direct South American slots for Qatar in 2022.

Gabriel Barbosa wasn’t allowed a goal offside in the first half, but in the 65th minute Richarlison opened the scoring with a strong shot from close range. Neymar assisted the first goal and added a second goal from the spot in additional time. The penalty was given after the video review and Brazil’s No. 10 was able to seize the second chance after being stopped by goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.

Both goals were celebrated by the entire team, centered on coach Tite. After the match, all the players escorted Tite to the dressing room.

Since Brazil agreed to host the Copa America, the drama has been centered around the team. Team captain Casemiro suggested on Friday that players wouldn’t want to take part in the tournament at home while Brazilians were still dying in large numbers at COVID-19. So far, more than 470,000 Brazilians have Corona. I’m dead from a virus.

Copa America was originally planned to be co-sponsored by Colombia and Argentina. Colombia was forced to withdraw due to social unrest, and Argentina declined to host a continental tournament last week due to a worsening pandemic.

Tite’s post-match press conference was highly anticipated after rumors swirled during the day that he could resign before the Copa America began. The coach avoided revealing details of his upcoming plans, but did not rule out quitting his job.

On the eve of the match, Tite admitted that he had discussed with the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation whether the players would participate in the continental tournament. The final answer to this question is expected after the match against Paraguay on Tuesday.

“I do my job normally. I always do it. Tito, who wore a mask throughout the press conference, said,” I feel at ease with myself. Compared to others, I have little adversity. “.

Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro have asked Mr. Tight to resign. The Brazilian president went against social distance policies, saying that blockades would kill more people than viruses.

Asked if he could quit his job next week, Tight said, “You can make any hypothesis, but just be careful. Express it when it matters. Stop it now. The match against Ecuador is tough. “

After defeating Ecuador on Friday, Casemiro said, “The position of the players is very clear. So far, nothing more is possible.”

“I don’t want to lose my concentration, so I’d like to talk after the match against Paraguay,” Casemiro said. “This is the World Cup for us.”

Midfielder added that “all Brazilian players make the decision”. Local media opposes Brazil’s European-based players playing in the Copa America.

Ecuadorian defender Robert Arboleda added that the national team captain is discussing participation in the South American Championships from June 13th to July 10th.

“Many people are dead and have to do something. For our players, going to a hotel is because people infected with the virus can give it to us. Is difficult.

The next qualifying round for the South American World Cup will take place on Tuesday. Paraguay will face Brazil and Colombia will face Argentina. Ecuador vs. Peru, Venezuela vs. Uruguay and Chile vs. Bolivia.

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Associated Press Soccer Details: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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