Brazil struck 4 times against Germany in their opening match while missed many and in their second group match, the Selacao fired blanks and after they were down to ten men, it became tough for them to penetrate the defiant resistance of Ivory Coast.
? Red cards for both sides but no goals in Yokohama ?
? The stalemate keeps Brazil and Côte d'Ivoire joint-top of Group D on four points, with Germany and Saudi Arabia to face off later ?#OlympicFootball | #Tokyo2020 | #Olympics pic.twitter.com/V1pGzGaedT
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) July 25, 2021
Within 13 minutes of the game Brazil played were down to ten men, because of the expulsion of defensive midfielder Douglas Luiz, after a review by the VAR, in a highly debatable move.
With one man down, the defending champions should have been reignited, rather, they were let down by their lack of cutting edge in the final third.
Ivory Coast took the numerical advantage and had more on the ball, even though, on the break, Brazil looked threatening, but the finishing remained frustrating.
Ivory Coast defenders stayed narrow and pressed the Brazilian flanks and midfield –a move, perhaps, they learned by watching the senior side, who lose the coordination between the midfield and forward when pressed and thus, exploits the flanks. But this time around, Ivory Coast had cut short the Brazilian threat from the flanks.
Can someone tell me how Douglas Luiz has been sent off for this? pic.twitter.com/bCIICoM4vM
— Ty Bracey (@TyBracey) July 25, 2021
Antony was, still, able to break through, but at the center of the opposition penalty area, his moves were wasted either by the poor finishing of the forwards or solid blocking the defenders in the air and on the pitch.
Brazil missed the playmaking abilities of Bruno Guimares, who had to drop deep at times to aid the defence while the full-backs advanced forward, still, Guimares was able to manage both, but at times against such a physical unit, it becomes tougher without a solid defensive partner like Douglas Luiz.
Brazil came back very well from the break and gained more control on the ball, not allowing any submission by Ivory Coast.
Bruno Guimarães vs Ivory Coast U-23
93% pass accuracy
1 key pass
5/5 accurate long balls
3 tackles won
He was everywhere. Had to work for two men after Douglas Luiz's red card. Man of the match in my humble opinion. ?? pic.twitter.com/TsG5gcARWo
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) July 25, 2021
Matheus Cunha was launched inside the area and failed to submit. Five minutes later, Cunha headed hard but was denied by the Ivory Coast keeper. In search of victory, Andre Jardine tried to breathe new life upfront by swapping the three attackers.
The pressure increased in the final 15 minutes, after the dismissal of Eboue Kouassi, and which left the game with 10 against 10.
In the stoppage time, Malcolm had a great chance, after a cross from Gabriel Martinelli was enough to seal the victory, sadly Malcom headed off the target.
Brazil shared points.
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) July 25, 2021
After the match, Jardine said, “Our understanding is that of not understanding the expulsion. He ended up interfering a lot in the team, it was too early, especially against a physically strong team, and the demand was very hard.”
“We don’t understand, especially with an intervention using the VAR, and arriving at an expulsion like this. But we also have to value the team’s demonstration of team spirit, everyone giving too much to defend. We ended up not recomposing with a defensive midfielder, betting on the ability of Antony, Claudinho, Cunha, and Richarlison to close space and defend the center of the field with Bruno Guimaraes – commented the coach.”
Os números do empate da #SeleçãoOlímpica na segunda rodada dos Jogos de Tóquio. Agora é garantir a classificação contra a Arábia Saudita e seguir em frente na luta pela medalha de ouro! ???
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) July 25, 2021
After a few scares in the first half, the team had control in the final stage and did not suffer any submissions. For André Jardine, Brazil deserved the three points.
“We deserved the victory even before the expulsion and even more after their expulsion. We had some situations to define the game. There is a positive feeling for the rest of the competition.”
“In the end, it is a game that will make our team grow as a team, due to the spirit, for having overcome an adverse situation together. They showed commitment to the team’s shirt, to the project; it was a demonstration of race and intelligence to support an opponent of strength and quality.”