Current two-time Olympic champion, the Brazilian men’s football team increased its chances of winning a place at the Paris Olympic Games. This Thursday (8), Ramon Menezes’ team defeated Venezuela, 2-1, and now depends only on their strength in the last round of the final quadrangular.
With three points added, Brazil left the last place in the competition and rose to second place, behind Paraguay, which leads with four.
In the last round, the Canarian team will face Argentina, which has two points and is in third place — the clash is scheduled for next Sunday (11), at 8 pm (Brasília time). The Paraguayans will face Venezuela, now at the bottom, with one point added.
The drama, however, could be even greater, as Venezuela had a goal disallowed that could have ended the Brazilian team’s chances of winning a place in the Olympics.
At 35 of the second half, Lacava shot from the edge of the area, into Mycael’s right corner, surprising the Brazilian goalkeeper. After analyzing the move on the video, however, the referee disallowed the goal due to offside by a Venezuelan player who was in front of the goalkeeper’s viewing angle and even bent down so the ball ended up in the back of the net.
Minutes before, Venezuela had tied the match with a goal from Jovanny, in the 22nd minute. At the beginning of the second half, in the 12th minute, Maurício had opened the scoring for Brazil.
After the scare, Brazil managed to seek victory with a goal from Guilherme Biro, in the 43rd minute of the final stage.
The Brazilian team has a general history of good results in the qualifying competition, which was established as a classification method at the Rome Olympics in 1960. There were, however, notable failures, which left the team out of three editions of the Games.
In 1980 (Moscow), 1992 (Barcelona) and 2004 (Athens), the men’s Olympic football championship did not feature the Brazilian team.
In this edition, despite having advanced from the first phase as leader of Group A, with three wins in four games, Brazil does not play convincing football in the competition, especially with weaknesses in the defensive sector, and has been dependent on individual plays in attack, especially with Endrick.
Right at the start of the final quadrangular, these problems became even more evident against Paraguay. Brazil could even have taken the lead and changed the history of the match, but the Palmeiras native wasted a penalty, and, at the end of the first half, Peralta scored the goal that defined the Paraguayan victory, 1-0.
At the opening of the second round, Paraguay had the chance to be the first South American team to guarantee one of the continent’s two places for the Paris Olympic Games, but let classification slip away in stoppage time of the game against Argentina, when the rival sought a 3-3 draw, also this Thursday.
Against Venezuela, the Brazilian team, in turn, again had little offensive productivity. In the first half, with the exception of a good finish from John Kennedy, goalkeeper Samuel Rodríguez was barely required by the Brazilians.
In the second half, the team, despite repeating its mistakes, at least the current two-time champions managed to be more effective in the chances they created to define victory. And they also had a good performance from goalkeeper Mycael, who made two great saves in stoppage time, avoiding a struggle for Brazil in the final round of the quadrangular.
“The key to the victory was the unity of the entire team. A lot of things happened, but the team is very united,” said striker Endrick. “Now, we have a classic against Argentina. We will work to have a good game,” he added.