VAR frustrates as Brazil held by Venezuela

Group A

Brazil 0-0 Venezuela 

Brazil were twice denied by the VAR as the Selecao were frustrated by Venezuela in a 0-0 draw at the Copa America.

Boos and whistles could be heard at Arena Fonte Nova – just like there were in Sao Paulo last week – following Brazil’s scoreless performance in Salvador on Tuesday.

Roberto Firmino had a goal ruled out for a foul in the first half, while Gabriel Jesus’ close-range effort and Philippe Coutinho’s late goal were ruled offside after VAR checks to cap a forgettable evening.

The result left qualification up in the air, with hosts Brazil, Peru and Venezuela vying for the two last-16 spots.

Brazil were booed at half-time of their eventual 3-0 win over Bolivia following a dour and scoreless first half. And the Selecao opened with real intent and intensity against Venezuela.

Arthur – named in the starting XI at the expense of Fernandinho in the only change to the line-up – pulled the strings in midfield and he almost teed up David Neres but the Ajax star fired wide.

Gabriel Jesus appeals to the referee.

Venezuela gave away possession cheaply minutes later and Richarlison almost capitalised as he forced Wuilker Farinez into a low diving save.

While Brazil made a slick start, Venezuela fired a warning as star striker Salomon Rondon – the only member of the squad to have scored more than once in the competition – headed just wide of the post in the 19th minute.

Brazil did find the back of the net via Firmino six minutes before half-time but it was ruled out for a foul on Mikel Villanueva as Tite’s men went into the break deadlocked again, drawing more boos.

Jesus replaced Richarlison during the interval and the substitute thought he made an impact when he buried the ball home just past the hour mark, however, the Manchester City forward’s goal was ruled out for offside against Firmino following a VAR check.

Groans grew around the stadium, while the Selecao were left frustrated at ground level with Venezuela continuing to hold firm against the eight-time champions, who thought they had snatched victory during the closing stages but Coutinho’s goal was ruled out by the VAR.

Brazil will wrap up proceedings in Group A with a clash against Peru in Sao Paulo on Saturday as Venezuela face Bolivia on the same day in Belo Horizonte.

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