Dunga - Brazil - Copa America

PASADENA, Calif. -- Brazil has long held a reputation as a national team full of talent and flair.


But on Saturday in their Copa America Centenario opener against Ecuador, it was a disappointing performance from a Brazilian team clearly diminished in their talent.


The team attacked and created many chances but lacked the strength and depth in the last touch and a goal never came.


A controversial play, in which Ecuador had a goal disallowed, left the final result a 0-0 draw, a favorable one for many teams but for the Brazilians it only showed the lack of creativity in a team that may not be the favorite some believed them to be coming into the tournament.


"We have to improve everything,” said head coach Dunga in the postgame press conference at the Rose Bowl.


“This is not only about the defense or attack, we have to improve as a group. We knew how Ecuador was going to play, the way the players play tactically, they were very focused throughout the match. We created chances but the goal didn’t come.”


During the first half, Brazil practically played on Ecuador’s soil, having taken over the midfield and possession of the ball. Willian and Phillippe Coutinho controlled the wings and the team looked compact. However, in the second half, Ecuador was capable of cutting the connection between the wingers and the forward, and despite the entry of Lucas Moura and Gabriel, Brazil's offensive power was greatly diminished.


“I sent Lucas [Moura] in to give more speed to the sides and I needed Gabriel up front because the Ecuadorian team was gaining the ball. We needed to feed balls between Coutinho and Gabriel.


“We went out there for a win since the beginning, we tried in many ways, but the Copa America is very difficult and now we have to think about winning the next game."


The outlook does not seem positive for a Brazilian team that entered Copa America Centenario plagued by injuries, and with its biggest star Neymar -- who watched the game from the stands alongside celebrities Jamie Foxx and Justin Bieber -- off the roster altogether.


After Peru defeated Haiti 1-0 in the other Group B game on Saturday, it is a must-win game for Brazil against Haiti on Wednesday (7:30 pm ET, FS1, UniMás, UDN).


“We have to find solutions. There are many injuries at this time, but on the other hand the players are very motivated to play in the national team. For our part, we have to control the training, duration, intensity, so they can be in the best shape for the next match.”