Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brazil on the Brink; Dunga on the Doorstep

Brazil is doing a twisted version of the Samba in South American World Cup qualifying, and the guy on the hook, naturally, is coach Dunga.

Going goalless last night against Bolivia in Rio de Janeiro is just the latest chapter in the Brazilians' trials on the World Cup trail. Brazil trails Paraguay in the standings, even with Argentina and four points behind the leaders. Things are not well. Ronaldinho is a ghost; promising stars such as Amauri remain on the bench and the natives are restless

"Goodbye Dunga" chants rained down on the coach as Bolivia pushed forward, trying to stun the hosts with an away victory. To his good fortune, Bolivia could not score. But neither could Brazil against a 10-man Bolivia courtesy of Robinho, whose Academy Award diving performance earned Ignacio Garcia a red card.

Argentina's 1-1 bottom of the barrel Peru was worse, and a Godsend for Brazil, which would have been in third place had it not been for Johan Fano's goal in the closing seconds of injury time.

Most critics say Dunga is not long for the Brazil bench and drastic changes are needed--don't expect Dunga to step aside voluntarily--before Brazil somehow finds itself staring at the unthinkable--ousted from the 2010 World Cup before it even starts.

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