Brazil took on Venezuela in their first game of the tournament. The current Brazilian squad is full of promising youngsters and coach Mano Menezes put out an attack minded squad with Robinho, Pato and Neymar forming the front three and Ganso, Lucas and Ramires in Midfield. The game promised a lot of action and excitement and goals! But it did not deliver anything. The Brazilians dominated most of the possession but failed to do much with the ball.
Early on there were chances for each of the front three. And the best chance came to Robinho whose shot was blocked by the diving Venezuelan defender. Pato showed his remarkable ability of controlling long balls, and took many long passes that came toward him brilliantly. His best chance came when Dani Alves played a pass into the box and Pato took a touch and blasted it onto the cross bar past the Keeper Vega. The rest of the half was filled with midfield battles. And just before halftime Neymar had a glorious opportunity to put Brazil 1 up but his curling effort went agonizingly wide.
Venezuela did not sit back and defend as they were expected to do. They played with flair whenever they got the ball and had no fear. And the players worked real hard to get back to their defensive roles as soon as they lost possession. On many occasions the Venezuelans showed Brazil a taste of their own medicine!
The Second half started off well. But soon the game became rather unpleasant with a lot of tackles and misplaced passes. The Brazilians seemed to be too tired. Chances were few and far apart and the Venezuelans defended very well to keep the Samba boys at bay. Mano Menezes made three changes bringing on Lucas, Elano and Fred for Pato, Ramires and Robinho and none of those changes worked and Brazil continued to under perform. In particular Ganso was playing pretty poor. It could be that he isnt completely fit to play. Why he played the entire 90 minutes is a mystery.
Brazil are now under real pressure as they have to win their matches against tougher opposition like Paraguay and Ecuador to guarantee a top place finish to the group. Lets see how to react to the game and how they play the next one. Argentina fans can feel ‘bit’ alright now. But surely the two managers Sergio Batista and Mano Menezes have got things totally wrong.