The shadow of a new ‘Maracanazo’ hangs over Brazil after a second 0-0 draw in a row, this time against Iraq, severely dented their hopes of Olympic gold.
Neymar and Co. now need to win on the final day against Denmark, the leader of Group A with four points, to rely on themselves to qualify.
Otherwise, should South Africa and Iraq draw in their final game, then the Canarinho will be out of the competition before the quarterfinal stage.
It appears that the curse of Olympic gold – the only title missing for Brazil – is striking again.
The hosts only have themselves to blame after repeating the same mistakes as in their first game.
Scoring early to take the pressure off was in the game plan but Iraq came out determined to run down the clock by playing an overly defensive style.
Technically inferior, they grew more physically strong as the game passed, but even they couldn’t have expected such a poor output from their more illustrious opponents.
Gabriel Jesus and Neymar were more involved in complaints to the referee than they were with action on the pitch.
In fact, the Barcelona striker’s most dangerous contribution was a poorly executed corner.
After 180 minutes without scoring in these Games, the ‘Selecao’ are unrecognisable, and hovering dangerously over the precipice.
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