10 September 2014 06:44
Brazil coach Dunga said the only negative in their 1-0 friendly win over Ecuador on Tuesday was the state of the pitch in New Jersey.
The result signified back-to-back clean sheets for the Brazilians, on the back of their calamitous finish to the World Cup on home soil – in which they shipped seven and three goals in their last two games to bow out in embarrassing fashion.
Dunga’s bow in his second stint in charge of Brazil saw them down Colombia 1-0 on Friday, in their first match in the post-Luiz Felipe Scolari era.
Despite Ecuador creating numerous chances, mostly involving Enner Valencia including a header that was cleared off the line by Filipe Luis, Dunga said it was all positive for the five-time world champions.
Dunga criticised the state of the MetLife Stadium pitch, which hosted an NFL game on Sunday.
“I don’t think there were negatives. We are more focused, and seemed more aware on the pitch,” the 50-year-old said.
“For me every player did well within their position.
“Our front men had more difficulties today, as the pitch was not ideal for our pacy strikers.”
Brazil goalkeeper Jefferson was also critical of the surface.
“[The pitch] was very bad, the grass was too soft,” Jefferson told SporTV.
“It’s hard for a keeper to move like that, you spend more time to go after the ball, but that’s Selecao, overcoming this kind of difficulties, so it was a good effort.”
Dunga said that his players continued to push for a second goal, despite things not always going to plan, was an indication of their character.
Neymar hit the underside of the crossbar from point-blank range in their most glaring stumble, but Dunga hailed their resilience.
“We have top quality players, and have to use this on our advantage,” Dunga said.
“There are players with good set-piece skills but fortunately, today, besides succeeding on the play, players didn’t give up on it, which is something we always ask for as well.”
Dunga said moving forward, he hoped to play more creative players up front, and had a thinly veiled dig at Fluminense striker Fred – who was in Scolari’s squad in Brazil.
“Now we have to continue this renovation, giving opportunities to players, and sequence of matches,” he added.
“Players need more playing time in order to have more confidence, to feel safer and to risk more plays.
“For the first time Brazil played without a poacher up front, we opted for quicker and more agile players.
“We will follow this, and for the next time we hope to have some things clearer on our work.”