"Dismayed," "angered" and "robbed" are all words Brazil manager Dunga can and should use after Peru pulled off a stunning 1-0 upset thanks to a handball goal Sunday in the Copa America soccer tournament, but the under-achieving squad is also responsible for their own woes.
Several replays, including the highlight below, showed Peru forward Raul Ruidiaz swat Andy Polo’s cross into the net past Brazil keeper Alisson in the 75th minute, breaking the scoreless deadlock and eventually eliminating Brazil's team, known as Seleção, from the Copa America. It’s the first time since 1987 Brazil has been knocked out before the quarterfinals.
The referees on the pitch did confer with each other while several Brazil players and Dunga, as Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri is known, vehemently protested, but they ultimately upheld the goal. Peru’s victory assured it first place in Group B and a spot in the quarterfinals
"Everyone saw what happened today. There's nothing to do. If you do not have images, all work can be [thrown] off," Dunga said through a translator after the match. "We cannot change what everyone saw. The imponderable, there's nothing we can do."
"It was a very disputed game. We dominated the first half, while in the second half, at the end, what happened is independent of the coach and the players."
Dunga also wondered how today, with so much technology and so many camera lenses on the field, a play like that could even occur.
"My question is, despite all the technology, we still make mistakes. The refs consulted. They were talking to somewhere else when they should be talking to each other. I don't understand why they had to be on the headset to consult. This is very strange."
The manager’s bewilderment is understandable, but his side’s defensive failure to contain the No. 48-ranked team in the world was equally troubling. It was Dunga's conservative tactics that many believe put Brazil in the position to lose on a shock goal. The Brazil defense allowed Polo and Ruidiaz a golden opportunity to score, and the offense couldn't manage a goal against a squad that allowed Ecuador to score two goals against it just four days earlier.
Peru squeezed off a mere four shots, two on goal, throughout the match compared to Brazil’s 14 total attempts, and five on target. The Seleção also won the possession battle, 65 minutes to 35 minutes, and used the advantage to force 10 corner kicks, all of which failed to result in a single goal. And before the match Brazil was tied with Argentina for a tournament-best seven goals.
Much credit is due Peru keeper Pedro Gallese, as he recorded five saves on the day. But even his performance can’t explain how Brazil allowed a side it’s dominated for decades to upset their star-studded squad — with or without talisman Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. In 43 matches since 1936, Brazil has defeated Peru 30 times and lost just four times, with Sunday’s loss the first since 1985.