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Brazil vs Uruguay: Copa America 2024 result ‘unexpected’ – Dorival

Victory over Paraguay during the group stage was Brazil's only win at the 2024 finals

The Copa America football trophy

Brazil head coach Dorival Jr has described his side’s quarter-final defeat on penalties to Uruguay at the Copa America 2024 as a surprise and said his team had “issues” early in the tournament.

The nine-time champions drew with Costa Rica and Colombia during the group stage on their way to an underwhelming exit against opponents who had Nahitan Nandez dismissed after 74 minutes.

“We are undergoing a very important renovation or reinvention of this team,” said Dorival Jr. “I have only coached this team for eight matches and this is a process that we have to go through.

“We are aware of the difficulties we will come across throughout the path, but we lost a match in the knockouts and that wasn’t what we expected.”

Brazil exit Copa America on penalties

Douglas Luiz and Eder Militao missed their spot kicks as Brazil went out 4-2 in the shoot-out, having gone almost three hours without scoring at the finals.

Brazil, who were Copa America champions in 2019 and reached the 2021 final, are ranked fourth in Fifa’s rankings and lost to a Uruguay side 10 places below them.

Record scorer Neymar, who is recovering from a knee injury he suffered in October, watched from the stands in Nevada and will now hope to help his country strengthen their chances of qualifying for the 2026 Fifa World Cup.

Brazil are one place clear of being required to take place in a play-off to reach the finals, having won two and lost three of their first six qualifiers.

Brazil aiming for 2026 World Cup

“We have a lot of room to continue growing, evolving and improving,” said Dorival Jr, who is unbeaten in eight matches in charge over 90 minutes, including friendly wins over England and Mexico.

“Our main objective now is to qualify for the World Cup. Right now we are sixth in the standings – we are not comfortable with that.”

Neymar was among the players to call for patience during the Selecao’s unconvincing start to the Copa America.

“We had some issues at the beginning of the tournament,” said Dorival Jr. “I think we corrected plenty of mistakes.

“It is tough given the period of time that we had to work to try to speed up the process. We’ll have some more time in the future.”

Picture of Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.