Controversy or not, Tite's Brazil train rolls on as legacy grows

By Sports Desk June 24, 2021

A quick glance on Twitter and the trending topics in Colombia and Brazil would give you a rough idea of what transpired in Rio de Janeiro.

Pitana, Ospina, Colombia, Brazil and Copa America were among the trending names and words via social media after controversy marred the Selecao's 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

Reigning Copa America champions Brazil completed a stunning comeback in the 100th minute thanks to Casemiro's last-gasp header, but Colombia were still seething from an incident in the 78th minute.

Roberto Firmino's equaliser with 12 minutes of regulation time remaining came after the ball deflected off referee Nestor Pitana in the build-up – the official allowing play to continue rather than call for a drop-ball, leading to lengthy protests from goalkeeper David Ospina and Colombia.

The goal stood, even after a VAR review.

But amid the Copa chaos, Brazil head coach Tite added to his growing legacy.

While Brazil had their run of six consecutive clean sheets ended, a streak dating back to October 2020, the Selecao extended their winning streak to 10 consecutive games.

Casemiro's goal – officially timed at 99:22, the latest recorded 90th-minute goal in a Copa fixture since Arturo Vidal scored for Chile against Bolivia in 2016 at 99:48, sealed top spot in Group B with one game remaining while preserving a 100 per cent record at this year's tournament on home soil.

It saw Tite surpass his own record with Brazil.

With wins over Colombia, Peru (twice), Venezuela (twice), Paraguay, Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia and South Korea, Tite exceeded his previous winning streak of nine straight games (in 2016) at the helm of the Selecao.

Tite was influential on the sidelines as Brazil bounced back from Luis Diaz's stunning and acrobatic 10th-minute opener.

He introduced Renan Lodi and Firmino – the pair were involved for Brazil's second-half equaliser against Colombia.

At the end of the encounter, Tite passed Sebastiao Lazaroni as the second coach with the most Copa America matches without defeats – eight to seven.

Legendary former coach Mario Zagallo – who won two World Cups as a player and one while in charge of Brazil, holds the record, having not tasted defeated in 12 appearances at the CONMEBOL tournament.

Since being appointed in 2016, Tite has overseen 43 wins, 10 draws and four defeats.

Controversy or not, the Tite train rolls on in pursuit of back-to-back Copa crowns.

Related items

  • Devers leads Red Sox past Yankees, Mets blank Blue Jays Devers leads Red Sox past Yankees, Mets blank Blue Jays

    Whatever the Boston Red Sox had in mind heading into Friday's showdown with Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees, it did not include their own starting pitcher leaving the game after recording just three outs.

    Even after Eduardo Rodriguez was forced to leave the game in the second inning due to what the team described as migraine symptoms, the Red Sox had enough firepower to defeat their rivals 6-2 at Fenway Park.

    After Rodriguez's unexpectedly early exit, Phillips Valdez stepped in to get out of a second-inning jam and strike out seven in three scoreless innings of relief on the day he was called up from the minor leagues.

    Rafael Devers gave the home side the lead with a two-run homer off Cole in the fifth and added a three-run shot against Nestor Cortes in the seventh to put the game away. The latter was the 100th home run of Devers' career.

     

    Mets blank Blue Jays

    Pete Alonso accounted for all of the New York Mets' runs with a pair of homers and Tylor Megill had the best start of his career with six shutout innings in a 3-0 defeat of the Toronto Blue Jays.

    The Colorado Rockies picked up their 10th road win in 44 games away from Coors Field this season, rallying to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 as Charlie Blackmon had three hits incluing the extra-inning homer that sealed the victory.

    Nelson Cruz homered in his first game after being traded to Tampa Bay and Ji-Man Choi's three-run homer in the ninth blew open a close game as the Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 10-5.

     

    Rangers pounded again

    Kolby Allard surrendered a three-run homer to Kyle Tucker to cap a five-run third inning for the Houston Astros that helped send the Texas Rangers to a 7-3 loss, their 10th consecutive defeat. The Rangers have been outscored 73-18 in that span and have not held a lead for 86 straight innings. According to Stats Perform, that drought is the longest since the Atlanta Braves went 96 innings without a lead in April and May 1977.

     

    Brewers slam White Sox

    In a matchup of NL and AL Central division leaders, the Milwaukee Brewers got a boost from Tyrone Taylor's seventh-inning grand slam to down the Chicago White Sox 7-1.

     

    Friday's results

    Chicago Cubs 8-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
    Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 Cleveland Indians
    Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Atlanta Braves
    Boston Red Sox 6-2 New York Yankees
    New York Mets 3-0 Toronto Blue Jays
    Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Washington Nationals
    San Diego Padres 5-2 Miami Marlins
    Cincinnati Reds 6-5 St Louis Cardinals
    Kansas City Royals 5-3 Detroit Tigers
    Minnesota Twins 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
    Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Chicago White Sox
    Houston Astros 7-3 Texas Rangers
    Seattle Mariners 4-3 Oakland Athletics
    Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 San Francisco Giants
    Colorado Rockies 9-6 Los Angeles Dodgers

    White Sox at Brewers

    A pair of All-Star pitchers go head-to-head as Carlos Rodon and the Chicago White Sox (58-39) continue their series against Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers (57-41).

  • Saints' position among offensive elite under threat without Michael Thomas Saints' position among offensive elite under threat without Michael Thomas

    The New Orleans Saints have long since enjoyed the benefit of continuity on offense in Sean Payton era, but in 2021 they will have to contend with some significant changes.

    For the first time since the 2005 campaign, the Saints will begin a season with a quarterback not named Drew Brees as their starter.

    Brees' retirement was regarded by some as overdue but, if his decision to ride off into the sunset was not viewed as a damaging one for New Orleans, the loss of the receiver with whom he had built a devastating rapport certainly is a significant blow.

    NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported on Friday that Michael Thomas is expected to miss the start of the season having undergone ankle ligament surgery in June.

    Thomas was limited to just seven games last year because of persistent ankle injuries and the procedure to fix those problems will, at least in the opening weeks, rob the Saints' 2021 starting quarterback of a two-time first-team All-Pro who has blossomed from 2016 second-round pick into one of the most dependable wideouts in the NFL.

    Renowned for his route-running and his proficiency in making contested catches, Thomas produced at a historic level in 2019.

    He broke the single-season receptions record with 149, racking up a career-high 1,725 receiving yards at an average of 107.8 per game.

    Per Stats Perform data, Thomas registered a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted regardless of whether the ball is catchable, on 76.1 per cent of his 184 targets.

    That was the fourth-highest rate among wide receivers in the NFL. Only one player who finished above him, Corey Davis (69), had even 50 targets.

    Thomas was tied for the second-most burn yards per route, trailing only Stefon Diggs (3.9) with an average of 3.6.

    He got open on 83.2 per cent of his targets, though he did so with an average depth of target of 8.1 yards, illustrating the Saints' dependence on shorter passes in the latter stages of Brees' career.

    Thomas will now miss out on the chance to quickly develop an even better understanding with the two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, vying to be Brees' successor.

    The frustration of that for the Saints will be two-fold. Winston's aggressiveness -- he was second in the NFL in air yards per attempt (10.7) in his last season as a starter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 -- could unlock Thomas' potential as a downfield receiver to a greater extent than Brees did.

    Meanwhile, Thomas' dependability would be a significant aid to an interception-prone quarterback or to a passer in Hill whose only four pro starts came last season.

    Instead of enjoying those possible benefits, with Thomas on the sideline, Payton and the Saints have the imposing challenge of maintaining their offensive consistency without a Hall of Fame quarterback and without their All-Pro wide receiver.

    The Saints are used to life among the NFL's offensive elite, but with the two most important parts of the equation on that side of the ball out of the picture, at least for the start of 2021, they face being removed from the top table.

  • Sri Lanka squeeze home to deny India series sweep in Colombo Sri Lanka squeeze home to deny India series sweep in Colombo

    Sri Lanka claimed a much-needed victory in the third and final match of the ODI series against India, chasing down a revised target of 227 with three wickets to spare in Colombo.

    Opener Avishka Fernando made 76 and, despite a late wobble, Sri Lanka sealed just their second victory in 11 completed 50-over fixtures, with this their first success since beating Bangladesh in late May.

    A much-changed India had reached 147-3 before a lengthy rain break changed the complexion of the innings. Following the resumption, they lost their final seven wickets for 68 runs to be bowled out for 225.

    Prithvi Shaw (49), debutant Sanju Samson (46) and Suryakumar Yadav (40) all made useful contributions, while Akila Dananjaya and Praveen Jayawickrama claimed three wickets apiece for the hosts.

    Sri Lanka's reply included a maiden half-century in the one-day format for Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who reached the milestone with successive boundaries during a second-wicket partnership worth 109.

    Krishnappa Gowtham - another new name included in the India XI - eventually ended the stand, dismissing Rajapaksa for 65 in his opening over, while the impressive Fernando departed for 76 with victory in sight.

    Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka had departed for a first-ball duck too, but Ramesh Mendis' unbeaten 15 saw the hosts across the line with 48 balls remaining.


    Fresh faces for India

    India had the chance to equal their record for most consecutive ODI victories against Sri Lanka, having gone into the contest on a five-match winning streak. However, a side featuring no fewer than five debutants was unable to seal a sweep.

    Still, wicketkeeper-batsman Samson impressed in a run-a-ball innings that included five fours and a six, while fellow new faces Chetan Sakariya and Rahul Chahar both claimed two wickets.

    Moving on up

    This result was timely for Sri Lanka – and not just because of their recent wretched run of form in the white-ball format.

    They sat second from bottom in the ICC's Cricket World Cup Super League prior to the game, with only Zimbabwe below them in the standings. This win lifts them one place, above the Netherlands, as they battle to qualify for the 2023 50-over tournament, which will be held in India.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.