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Brazil's thin Cup win causes mass fan suffering

Brazil's razor-thin Cup win over Chile puts nation through collective suffering
Posted on June 28, 2014 at 4:32 p.m.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The giant escaped alive — just barely.

Brazil beat Chile 3-2 on penalties in its Round of 16 World Cup soccer match Saturday in Belo Horizonte — and the brutally close contest put the nation of 200 million into a state of collective suffering.

In millions of homes across the continent-sized nation, in countless bars and before giant screens set up on beaches at official FIFA Fan Fest watch parties, everybody wearing Brazil’s canary-colored team jerseys felt the pain.

The scrappy, talented Chileans just kept battling the globe’s soccer powerhouse every step of the way — to the consternation of Brazil’s infamously critical fans.

“That was nonsense — they weren’t playing well and it came to this,” said Matheus Machado, a 31-year-old Brazilian lawyer who spent much of the match pressing his forehead against a wooden bar table in the northeastern World Cup city of Recife. “It was so painful I can’t describe it.”

He added: “It was a relief. I know Chile has a good team and all but there’s a lot of tradition here and that means a lot to us.”

In Rio de Janeiro, many fans with tickets to watch Colombia take on Uruguay in Maracana stadium arrived early to watch the Brazil match on the arena’s giant screens.

“I sweated a lot!” said Ana Paulo Romero from inside Maracana.

She didn’t soften her criticism of Brazil’s team for putting fans through the close match.

“It’s not a strong team — they barely created any goal opportunities,” Romero said of Brazil’s squad. “Winning by penalties isn’t what we Brazilians want to see.”




 FILE - In this Friday, July 27, 2012 file photo, Chairmen of the two chambers of the new FIFA Ethics Committee Michael Garcia, left, from the US and Joachim Eckert, right, from Germany attend a press conference, at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert is unlikely to reach final decisions in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding corruption probe until early next year. The German judge also suggested on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, it was not his job to remove Russia or Qatar as hosts or order a re-vote based on FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia's investigation. (AP Photo/Keystone, Walter Bieri, File)

Updated on Sept. 22, 2014 at 12:38 p.m.
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