Brazil Held to Goalless Draw by Costa Rica in Copa America 2024 Opener

Brazil v Costa Rica
Brazil v Costa Rica (PC: X)

Before their Copa America 2024 opener against Costa Rica, Brazil head coach Dorival Junior acknowledged that his team had yet to find the right balance and consistency, but he hoped to discover the right mix against Los Ticos. This concern proved accurate after a disappointing 0-0 draw at SoFi Stadium in California. Despite showcasing skill and creating numerous attacking threats, the Seleção seemed lost in the final third.

Notably, Brazil started without a traditional No. 9 striker in their lineup. Vinicius Junior led the attack alongside Rodrygo and Raphinha, while Endrick came on in the second half but failed to make an impact. This highlighted a surprising issue for Brazil – a nation renowned for producing legendary strikers like Pelé, Zico, and Ronaldo -now struggling to find a genuine goal scorer, as evidenced by today’s draw.

The Selecão began the match with a decent intensity, aiming for an early breakthrough. However, penetrating Costa Rica’s defence proved challenging. Despite several attempts, including a 12th-minute chance where Rodrygo’s shot went wide from inside the box, Brazil couldn’t capitalise on their dominance, holding 83% ball possession in the first 20 minutes.

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Rodrygo and Vinicious Junior for Brazil
Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior for Brazil (PC: X)

In the 22nd minute, a fast counter-attack saw Lucas Paquetá narrowly miss the target. Costa Rica’s goalkeeper, Patrick Sequeira, delivered a confident performance, particularly with his positioning and decision-making, adding to Brazil’s frustration.

Brazil thought they had broken the deadlock in the 33rd minute when Marquinhos scored from a Raphinha free kick, with Rodrygo providing the assist. However, the goal was disallowed after a VAR review showed Rodrygo was offside. Despite their overwhelming dominance, Brazil ended the first half goalless, as Costa Rica effectively handled their attacks.

The second half saw Brazil maintain their attacking approach, but they continued to struggle with converting chances. Paquetá orchestrated the midfield, and in the 63rd minute, his shot from outside the box hit the post. Substitutes Savio and the new wunderkind, Endrick, brought some energy and nearly resulted in a goal, with Savio delivering a pass to Bruno Guimarães, who failed to hit the target.

Ultimately, Costa Rica managed to secure a point, leaving Brazil frustrated with the draw.

Also Read: Argentina’s Quest for Glory: Emulating Spain’s Golden Era