Brazil entered this latest round of World Cup Qualifiers with the Intention of improving their somewhat lacklustre performances on that specific stage.
But they did themselves no favors as they scraped a lucky and thoroughly undeserved draw in Quito last night against the Ecuadorians.
For any fan of direct football or (Samba) the Brazilian way of playing; yesterdays clash was a complete bore-fest. the Selecao got outperformed by a determined Ecuador side whom unlike The Cannarinha's played with heart and spirit.
Ronaldinho who was hugely instrumental in the game against Italy had one to forget as he constantly gave the ball away coupled with a really poor passing rate.
The home side totally dictated play and left Brazil's front man neutralized, little Robinho was the only inspirational player in attack Luis Fabiano, Elano were just mere bystanders.
Brazil's Midfield and Defence was constantly hampered and disrupted by the likes of Mendez who plays for the Mexican side Santos. he alone caused three Brazilians to get booked.
The defence did little to help also as Luisao and Lucio constantly lost aerial challenges and were really poor when tackling. just to state it and sum up the performance, Julio Cesar's goal was peppered with 22 shots on goal while Brazil had a woeful 8 attempts.
Brazil Manager Carlos Dunga was left frustrated throughout as his team opted to throw out another horrible performance that will be sure to place him right on the hot seat once again if they fail to convincingly oust Peru on Wednesday.
He did throw one last dice though as him deciding to Introduce Roma's Julio Batista gifted Brazil what can be now described as a precious point as he had initially put the Brazilians ahead in the clash with a well taken strike in the 72 minute, until Christian Noboa rightfully payed off the Ecuadorians valiant persistence by taping in an initially saved Benitez attempt.
Player Ratings:- (Adapted from Goal.com)
Cevallos – 6: Very unfortunate to concede a goal. Only had a few touches of the ball beforehand and afterwards had even fewer saves to make.
Reasco – 6.5: Looked very timid when he joined the attack in the first half. Got a lot bolder in the second period as he constantly cut in to the middle from the flank to cause problems.
Espinoza – 6: Shadowed Luis Fabiano (the ghost) closely throughout the game and did not let him out of his sight. Even produced a shot on target at the other end.
Hurtado – 6:Like Espinoza, he wasn’t troubled in defense as they easily kept Fabiano quiet. But they did hesitate in closing down Robinho and Julio Baptista and that led to Brazil’s goal.
Ayovi – 7.5: An energetic display. Not afraid to run at his opponents or have a crack at goal from distance. Barely troubled by the Brazilian attack at the other end or even Dani Alves’ overlapping runs.
Valencia – 6: Wasn’t as energetic as the rest of his team-mates. Hit the crossbar in the first half but other than that, he didn’t have much to show.
Mendez – 8: Had numerous chances from direct free kicks throughout the game. Continually bossed the midfield and created openings for his team-mates. It was his persistent run down the flank which led to the equalizer.
Castillo – 5: Despite his team’s domination in the center of the park, he didn’t see much of the ball and he wasn’t very involved in the attacks.
Guerron – 8: Saw a lot of the ball down his wing and gave the Brazilians endless problems with his runs and his dangerous crosses.
Benitez – 4: Very difficult to handle on the ground or in the air, but right in front of goal he wasted countless clear-cut scoring opportunities, including numerous efforts from close range. Would have been relieved to see his team-mate score off a rebound of his.
Caicedo – 5: Didn’t have as many chances as Benitez but still wasted his fair share of decent opportunities.
Noboa – 6: Found himself in the right place at the right time to stab home the rebound. Didn’t do much else in the 15 minutes he was on the pitch.
Julio Cesar – 9: Made at least four excellent saves in the first half to keep his side alive and made five more in the second period as Ecuador peppered his goal with 23 shots in total. Could not have done much more to deny the hosts the equalizer. Brazil's man of the match.
Maicon – 5: Looked subdued in the 23 minutes he was on. Taken off just before the half-hour mark with an injury and one wonders if he may have carried a niggle into the game.
Lucio – 5: Beaten in the air time and again and had two very nervous moments early in the second half, one of which almost allowed Benitez to score.
Luisao – 6: Struggled early on with a few mistimed clearances and tackles but grew stronger as the game wore on, making pivotal interceptions. Not any better in the air than his defensive partner.
Marcelo – 5:Made a bright start helping out in attack and he was one of the very few to get a shot on goal for his side. Defensively, he had an intriguing battle with Guerron all game long but he lost more than he won as he allowed his rival to supply cross after cross.
Gilberto Silva – 5: The normally cool holding midfielder had to do a lot of running and his lack of pace showed as the Ecuadorian completely dominated in the middle of the park.
Felipe Melo – 6: Charged from box to box in the first half as he helped defend and also attack. Somewhat disappeared in the second period as he was asked to stay deep in his own half to stifle the opposition offense.
Elano – 4: Had no input in attack whatsoever. Had to backtrack to help out in defence just to get a touch of the ball.
Ronaldinho – 5: Far too many stray passes and lost balls. His set-piece deliveries were also woefully disappointing.
Robinho – 7: The liveliest of Brazil’s outfield players. Covered a lot of ground, created most of the openings and made the assist for Baptista’s opener. Had one or two chances of his own and almost every attack went through him.
Luis Fabiano – 5: Restricted to just a few touches of the ball and even fewer shots on goal, one of which came back off the post. Kept on the field for his pace and strength and he did cause the Ecuadorian back line a few headaches on the counter.
Dani Alves – 6.5: Added more spark to the team’s attack as well as more speed at the back.
Josue – 6: Brought on to give the side more steel in midfield after 60 minutes when Ecuador were really piling on the pressure. He did his job as he slowed down his opponents advances on a few occasions.
Julio Baptista – 7: Took just 60 seconds to score after replacing Ronaldinho. He started the move by bringing the ball out of midfield and he finished with a powerful shot at the near post, although he was a tad lucky it came off the post and in off the goalkeeper’s head.