Winning run fails to impress

2015-03-30 18:22
Dunga (Getty Images)

Rio de Janeiro - Brazilian media were unenthused on Monday by an eighth straight friendly success under new coach Dunga, who is steadily repairing the morale of a Selecao shattered by last July's World Cup exit to Germany.

Sunday's 1-0 win over Chile at the Emirates Stadium came hot on the heels of a 3-1 success over France at the Stade de France, scene of the South Americans' 1998 World Cup final implosion.

The wins keep coming - Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Japan, Turkey, Austria, France and now Chile have all been dispatched for 18 goals scored and just two conceded.

Half of those goals have been scored by Neymar, however, and Dunga acknowledged last week that Brazil cannot just draft a conveyor belt of superstars as he looks to build up a new generation in his own pragmatic style.

That style was criticised as pedestrian during his first spell in the dugout which ended with a 2010 World Cup quarter-final loss to the Netherlands.

If six clean sheets in eight games since he replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari nine months ago might earn merit in some countries, in Brazil it spells a surfeit of caution.

"A little goal and nothing more in London (Sunday's win over Chile). A game of many fouls and very little quality," moaned Estado de Sao Paulo.

The paper unapologetically stuck the knife in further.

"For the history books, the Selecao registered its eighth straight win under Dunga in beating Chile 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium" with Firmino on target.

"But Brazil's performance was poor, sad even, with one shot on goal in the 90 minutes and just 37 percent of possession."

Five bookings for the men in yellow also did nothing to endear Dunga's side to the country's scribes and it was possibly fortunate the team's lucrative roadshow takes them anywhere but home -- from Miami and New Jersey to Beijing via Singapore, Istanbul, Vienna, Paris and London.

Sunday's match was their seventh at an Arsenal stadium built nine years ago.

That compares with only three at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, constructed at huge cost for the World Cup.

Brazil beat Japan in their Confederations Cup opener there in 2013 and Cameroon at the World Cup -- but then gave up the ghost meekly to the Dutch in the third-place playoff.

The stadium, an apparent white elephant with no club, will not be paid off for around a millennium at this rate, authorities admitted last month, owing to pitiful revenue.

Folha de Sao Paulo lamented "a performance that did not shine" although the paper took heart from a winning mentality being established in the run-up to the Copa America in Chile in June.

Sports daily Lance depicted Dunga in a mechanical digger scooping up letters spelling lack of confidence -- but added "it was a complicated match for Brazil."

However, Neymar, whose absence through injury for the Germany debacle shattered team spirit, insisted the building blocks are in place for a new generation and a tilt at a Copa success which Dunga delivered in his previous spell in charge in 2007.

"We are working to cast off the image created at the World Cup and which is not a correct one. We mustn't think back to the past now. We've played eight, won eight -- four against sides who will be Copa America rivals," Neymar told reporters in London.

"We are rebuilding and we are on the right road," the Barcelona talisman insisted.

Read more on:    dunga  |  soccer

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