Copa America 2011, Brazil Vs. Ecuador: Preview

After the 2010 World Cup, Dunga was ousted as the manager of Brazil. The poor result that was getting knocked out of the tournament by the Netherlands was certainly a contributing factor, but Dunga was a marked man before that. He was always going to lose his job if he didn't win the World Cup. A defensive midfielder in his playing days, Dunga insisted on a more organized Brazil. He didn't pick Neymar for his team. Both choices incensed the public and the media. When he failed to produce, the actual firing was just a formality.

Enter Mano Manezes, a man who was supposed to return Brazil to their samba football roots. Instantly, he brought Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso into the side. Early results were encouraging, but the two most recent results in Copa America have been anything but. Brazil have played to two draws so far, the first of which was an incredibly boring encounter against Venezuela. A third straight draw will get Brazil into the quarterfinals - just barely - but that won't be enough to satisfy their fans.

Of course, a couple of knockout stage wins would shut everyone right up, but the pressure on them to produce in the quarterfinals might be too intense to handle should they fail to beat Ecuador in their final Copa America group stage match on Wednesday night. Though Ecuador have a few big time talents, they're nowhere near the talent of Brazil, and they're certainly behind group-mates Paraguay in that department as well. They only have one point, and they've barely earned that.

Brazil won't know their exact situation until the end of the Venezuela-Paraguay match, but they should probably win regardless of what happens, or face the wrath of their fans.

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