Copa Central: Brazil cries foul, to no avail

Video replay cannot come soon enough for what happened Sunday night at the Copa Centenario in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Brazil exited the tournament in stunning fashion -- well, not so stunning for the team's numerous critics -- as it lost to Peru, 1-0, on a goal by Raul Ruidiaz in the 75th minute.

Replays showed Ruidiaz batted the cross from Andy Polo into the goal, but Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha, after consulting with his assistant and on his microphone, confirmed the goal.



Both teams had claims for penalties from Cunha, who refused to call fouls on Coutinho and Dani Alves that would have given Brazil penalty kicks and an apparent trip on Peru's Edison Flores in the area late in the first half.

It was not the first game Brazil was involved in controversy. It had escaped from the Rose Bowl with a 0-0 draw in its opener against Ecuador after a shot by Miller Bolanos was ruled to have cross the end line before he fired it off Brazilian goalkeeper Alison and into the net.

In Sunday's first game, Ecuador's 4-0 win over Haiti ended its string of six straight exits in the group stage of the Copa America and set up a date Thursday with the United States in Seattle.

Peru then needed a win to keep alive its streak of getting out of the group stage in every Copa America since its exit in 1995. Only Argentina has a longer streak, having reached the knockout stage of every tournament since its first-round exit in 1983. The last time Brazil fell in the group stage was 1987.

Last group-stage exits (Copa America):
YEAR TEAM
2015 Ecuador
2015 Venezuela
2011 *Bolivia
2007 Colombia
2004 Chile
2001 *Paraguay
1997 *Uruguay
1995 Peru
1987 *Brazil
1983 Argentina
*Eliminated from 2016 Copa Centenario.

CROWD COUNT. Lionel Messi returned to Chicago's Solder Field for the first time since the infamous Messi & Friends all-star game three years ago, and he did not disappoint the 53,885 fans with a hat trick in 19 minutes off the bench.



The crowd was the largest of the weekend at the Copa Centenario and helped push the tournament average to 40,553 a game.

Largest Copa Centenario crowds:
ATT. GAME (VENUE)
83,263 Mexico-Jamaica (Pasadena, Calif.)
69,491
Argentina-Chile (Santa Clara, Calif.)
67,439
USA-Colombia (Santa Clara, Calif.)
60,025 Mexico-Uruguay (Glendale, Ariz.)
53,885 Argentina-Panama (Chicago)
53,158 Brazil-Ecuador (Pasadena, Calif.)
51,041 USA-Panama (Philadelphia)
49,438 Ecuador-Haiti (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
45,808 Costa Rica-Colombia (Houston)
42,766 Colombia-Paraguay (Pasadena, Calif.)
39,642 USA-Costa Rica (Chicago)
36,187 Brazil-Peru (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
28,241 Brazil-Haiti (Orlando)
25,560 Venezuela-Jamaica (Chicago)
23,002 Venezuela-Uruguay (Philadelphia)
20,190 Peru-Haiti (Seattle)
19,392 Chile-Bolivia (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
17,133 Costa Rica-Paraguay (Orlando)
13,466 Panama-Bolivia (Orlando)
11,937 Peru-Ecuador (Glendale, Ariz.)

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17 comments about "Copa Central: Brazil cries foul, to no avail".
  1. Bob Ashpole, June 13, 2016 at 5:32 a.m.

    Per the rules of the competition referee decisions regarding facts are final and cannot be protested. Brazil has no recourse. Mistakes happen, but this is a referee's nightmare. Winning in this manner is disgraceful and can wreck a team's morale.

  2. Kent James replied, June 15, 2016 at 11:46 a.m.

    This is truly a ref's nightmare; the worst part is, many people think that when the referee conferred with the AR, they were being informed by someone outside the crew (who would have access to video replay), and still confirmed the goal. The crew is not even allowed to look at the video replay if they show it on the big screen in the stadium (so everyone can know but the people who really need to know!). It is imperative that FIFA sanction the use of video replay for all major competitions on all game critical calls (PKs, goals, Red cards), and maybe allow one review per team for non-game critical calls (such as yellow cards or off the ball incidents missed by the crew). This would not appreciably slow the game down.

  3. C Stephans, June 13, 2016 at 7:24 a.m.

    Whatever argument Brazil makes has to be used against them for the Ecuador goal so they really can't complain too much.

  4. Gus Keri, June 13, 2016 at 7:46 a.m.

    I am very upset because neither the USA nor Brazil made it to play in New Jersey. But to be fair, Brazil doesn't deserve to be in the QF. Actual table after correcting the referees' mistakes should be: 1-Ecuador: 7 point. 2-Peru: 5 points. 3-Brazil: 4 points. 4-Haiti: 0 points.

  5. Derek Mccracken, June 13, 2016 at 10:08 a.m.

    Paul Kennedy, and 99% of the media (and public), are being ridiculous blaming this hand ball goal on Brazil's exit.

    Is it because that non-call happened near the end of the match? What about the non-PK call on the clear trip in the box, by Brazil, during the first half? If that had happened in the closing minutes, would everyone be saying that Peru got ripped off? So, two non-calls, one that probably unfairly robbed Peru of a goal, and one that unfairly gifted them a goal - Why is everyone only concentrating on the latter? RIDICULOUS.

    Bottom line: Brazil played for the tie, something the Brazilian teams of old would not even have considered, they played a mediocre game, and it backfired on them. Dunga, and the entire team, are to blame, not the two non-calls.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, June 13, 2016 at 11:55 a.m.

    Why? Referee mistakes are regrettable but part of the game. Batting the ball into the goal with an arm should never be part of the game, regardless of whether the officials can see it or not. It is Peru and the cheating player that I am upset with for that.

  7. Ginger Peeler replied, June 13, 2016 at 12:38 p.m.

    Derek, I'm confused. I mean, that WAS the winning goal...no matter what part of the anatomy knocked it in, no? So it is responsible for Brazil's exit, right? The Peruvian who scored the goal said (in a post game interview) that the ball struck his thigh. The penalty kicks that you and some of the announcers said should have happened earlier in the game, didn't. That's nothing new in the game of soccer...the ref calls it to be best of his ability. Almost all of the press remarks I'm seeing are simply pointing out how making cameras and replay available to the refs would catch these human errors...Ecuador would have been credited with their goal against Brazil and Peru's goal would have been disallowed for the handball. I understand they're going to begin implementing cameras in some leagues (MLS included) on a trial basis with a fifth referee watching the replays soon. Winning a game by knocking the ball in with your hand seems to be considered a disgraceful action by everyone except the team that scores with it. Consider Maradona's "hand of God" goal. Frankly, I see this latest game-winning handball as a balancing out; Brazil's loss to Peru makes up for what should have been a loss to Ecuador (rightfully, still in the tournament).

  8. Derek Mccracken replied, June 13, 2016 at 2:40 p.m.

    Bob, agree 100% that batting the ball into the goal with one's arm is cheating and breaking soccer laws. BUT, so is tripping someone in the box - It is cheating AND breaking soccer laws. Both offenses - The one the Brazilian committed, and the one the Peruvian committed are cheating. No different. The, if the ref saw it, would have resulted in a PK and a likely goal. The second, if the ref saw it, would have resulted in a nullified goal.

    Ginger, I don't know why you are confused. Why are you only mad at the cheating Peruvian, and not the cheating Brazilian. You are 100% correct. The ref missed the clear cheating trip in the box which should've been a PK (Go to 2:32 of this video to see the PK that was stolen from Peru: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zzL-Qp80Kg).

    Equally, the ref missed the cheating handball that scored the winning goal.

    I also agree 100% that we should have video replay for goal situations inside the 18. If that was the case, a video replay would have shown the Brazilian cheating trip, a PK awarded and, more than likely, a Peruvian goal. They would've been up 1-zip at that time.

    That same video replay would have caught the Peruvian cheating handball and nullified it. So, with video replay, Peru would have probably still won 1-nil.

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, June 13, 2016 at 5:36 p.m.

    Derek, tripping someone is not even misconduct. While I recognize where you draw the line is debatable, I rate some behavior as outside the acceptable boundaries of the game: scoring goals deliberately by handling the ball, assaults, racial slurs and Rule 12 violent conduct. I don't like professional fouls and holding either, but I think that conduct can be handled by officials in competitive matches. I don't think it has any place in friendly matches. While I know some will disagree, I also think diving (not mere exaggeration) has no place in the game either.

  10. Derek Mccracken replied, June 13, 2016 at 6:24 p.m.

    Bob, I'm not so much arguing the level of "badness" of a particular foul (ie, handling to score a goal versus tripping to prevent a goal). My principal point is the one you made in your first response to me: "Referee mistakes are regrettable but part of the game." In both cases the official missed infractions - In the first, he stole a PK from Peru, in the 2nd, he gifted Peru a goal.

    In the end, you are arguing that handling the ball to score a goal is despicable and much worse than tripping in the box to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity. I don't deny that.

    The point I'm making is, if the official misses the tripping and the handling, as he did, the score ends up 1-nil Peru. If the referee catches both the trip in the box and handling, the score still probably ends up 1-zip for Peru.

  11. Bob Ashpole, June 13, 2016 at 11:58 a.m.

    By the way I am not upset about Brazil not advancing out of group. Blaming the referee is a worn out excuse for losing.

  12. Ginger Peeler replied, June 13, 2016 at 12:46 p.m.

    Bob, I agree 100%! And I'm NOT condoning the goal via handball. It's cheating, pure and simple. The Peruvian player compounded it by lying and anyone who watched the replays knows it. Has there ever been a player who went to the ref and admitted they knocked the ball in with their hand? I just have no pity for Brazil when Dunga starts complaining.

  13. Derek Mccracken replied, June 13, 2016 at 6:28 p.m.

    Agree, Bob. Brazil shouldn't blame the officials for missing the handling goal, but gladly accept the officials' poor call in the Ecuador game which clearly resulted in a goal (and 3 pts.) taken away from the Ecuadorian's. If Ecuador wins that game 1-zip, Brazil goes into the Peru game having to win, not win or tie, that match.

  14. beautiful game, June 13, 2016 at 1:18 p.m.

    U all miss the point...why were there no goal line officials designated in this tournament. That is the question that should be asked, any other argument is winded just like the TV announcers.

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, June 13, 2016 at 5:27 p.m.

    Good point.

  16. Derek Mccracken, June 13, 2016 at 2:42 p.m.

    Ginger, I don't know why you are confused. Why are you only mad at the cheating Peruvian, and not the cheating Brazilian. You are 100% correct. The ref missed the clear cheating trip in the box which should've been a PK (Go to 2:32 of this video to see the PK that was stolen from Peru: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zzL-Qp80Kg).

    Equally, the ref missed the cheating handball that scored the winning goal.

    I also agree 100% that we should have video replay for goal situations inside the 18. If that was the case, a video replay would have shown the Brazilian cheating trip, a PK awarded and, more than likely, a Peruvian goal. They would've been up 1-zip at that time.

    That same video replay would have caught the Peruvian cheating handball and nullified it. So, with video replay, Peru would have probably still won 1-nil.

  17. Nalin Carney, June 14, 2016 at 4:39 p.m.

    I agree........lets use the video tape.......it is that important !

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