Brazil is known for its soccer dominance and offensive flair, but in the 2019 WMF World Cup it was their impenetrable defense that had the US6 National Team hanging their heads in a 2-0 loss that dropped the US into the second seed in Group H at 2-1.
Brazil clinched the top seed with one game remaining. After Friday’s rainout, Brazil will play a make-up game against Argentina tomorrow to conclude group play. The US will now likely face defending WMF World Cup champion Czech Republic on Tuesday at 3:00pm (3:00am EDT, 12:00am PDT) in the Round of 16. The only consolation is that it will be Czech Republic’s third game in three days, as they also play today and have a make-up game tomorrow.
While Brazil had an edge in scoring chances, the US had a strong game defensively as well, although with better finishing Brazil could have had four or five goals.
Brazil was strong at cutting off passes, knocking the ball out of bounds, blocking shots, and keeping everything out of the middle of the field. The Americans were totally neutralized offensively.
“They did a good job making the field nice and small,” said US forward Franck Tayou. “We just didn’t know how to adjust to it.”
Ironically, the US roster is top-heavy offensively. Defenders DeBray Hollimon and Uzi Tayou did not play, and James Togbah was forced to sit a game after receiving yellow cards in consecutive games. Forward Kraig Chiles has been playing in one of the defensive positions all three games. Despite that, the US has managed only three goals in their last two games, but have allowed only three goals in the tournament.
It only gets harder from here, starting with the first elimination game Tuesday.