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Brazil trying to find answers for another loss

Brazil trying to find answers for another loss

The Brazilian women's football team left Beijing on Friday still trying to figure out what went wrong.
A day after losing their third straight major final with a 1-0 defeat to the United States, the Brazilians returned home with a lot of unanswered questions.
"We always reach the final and never win," Brazil goalkeeper Barbara said. "I don't know what's missing for us, we can't explain it."
Four years ago at the Athens Olympics, Brazil lost to the United States in extra time. Last year it fell to Germany in the World Cup final. In all three matches, Brazil played well and had chances to win.
"We just don't know what is going on, this is not fair," defender Renata Costa said. "We keep getting to all these finals, but for some reason we can't win. It's tough."
The Brazilians lost Thursday's match at Workers' Stadium on a goal by midfielder Carly Lloyd six minutes into extra time. Led by two-time FIFA Player of the Year Marta, Brazil had several chances to score throughout the match but couldn't capitalize on them.
"We dominated the whole match, but the ball wouldn't go into the back of the net," Brazil coach Jorge Barcellos said. "We had our chances and didn't take advantage."
The Brazilians felt they were ready for the gold this time, physically and mentally.
"It's not the nerves," Barbara said. "It's just something we can't pinpoint. Maybe one day, when we win a gold medal, we will know the explanation."
Brazil has won big games before but has never won a final at a major tournament. Just three days before Thursday's loss to the U.S., the Brazilians routed world champion Germany 4-1 in the semifinal. And in last year's World Cup, they trounced the American team 4-0, also in the semifinal.
After women's football debuted in the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, Brazil earned two fourth-place finishes before reaching the final in Athens and China. It did win the gold in last year's Pan American Games, a smaller-scale competition than the Olympics or World Cup, but several teams didn't use their top players then.
Thursday's loss was so disappointing that even Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed his sadness, saying that the women's team was "unlucky."
Football great Pele was also upset.
"It's a pity because Brazil deserved better," he said.
The loss is another setback for women's football in Brazil. With no regular professional leagues, the country's top players struggle to survive from the sport and have to look for jobs in European teams.
"Everything starts with a victory," Barcellos said. "If we had won, it would transform women's football in Brazil. So we had this hope that they would get the gold. I don't know what can happen now."
The nation will have to wait at least another four years to try to win its first gold medal in football. The men's team lost the semifinal 3-0 to rival Argentina on Tuesday.


Updated : 2021-04-11 21:30 GMT+08:00