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Brazil lacks trademark firepower in scoreless draw with Ecuador

Brazil Ecuador
Ecuador’s Walter Ayom battles Brazil’s Dani Alves for the ball in the first half of a Copa America Centenario match at the Rose Bowl on June 4.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The disapproving whistles that came down from the stands of the Rose Bowl told the story. 

Brazil didn’t deserve to win Saturday in its opening game of the Copa America Centenario. Ecuador didn’t, either.

But if there was a team that had the right to complain about the scoreless draw, it was Ecuador. Cautious as they were, the Ecuadorians might have actually scored.

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The play in question came in the 67th minute, when forward Miller Bolanos ran down a ball on the left end line and slanted it to the near post. The shot struck the arms of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson and trickled into the goal.

The goal was quickly waved off, as officials ruled the ball had rolled out of bounds before Bolanos shot it.

Except …

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“The entire ball didn’t go out,” Ecuador Manager Gustavo Quinteros said in Spanish. “Seventy, sixty percent of the ball went out.”

Quintero said he reached that conclusion after watching the replay 25 times.

Still images of the play circulating on social media indicated Quinteros had a case.

The linesman who raised his flag to signal out of bounds was on the far sideline, prompting Quintero to make a sarcastic crack about his “bionic vision.”

Quintero found it curious how the linesman appeared so certain the ball had crossed the end line despite where he was positioned. He went as far to say that if Brazil had scored on a similar play, the goal would have stood. 

“Regrettably, a mistake was made again against the weaker team, no?” Quinteros said. “If it were the other way, it would have been difficult to annul that goal. So we have a little problem with that.” Bolanos had little to say on the matter. “That’s football,” Bolanos said.

Bolanos urged his team to look ahead to Ecuador’s next game, which will be against Peru on Tuesday in Arizona.

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Brazil’s manager, Dunga, said he couldn’t see from the sideline whether the ball was in or out. However, Dunga said the Brazilians players who were near the ball told him it was out.

Follow Dylan Hernandez on Twitter @dylanohernandez


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