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Dunga blames virus for Brazil's Copa America exit

28 June 2015, 10:00

Sao Paulo - Brazil coach Dunga blamed a virus that hit several players for his team's early elimination from the Copa America at the hands of Paraguay on Saturday.

"It's not an excuse, but 15 players had a virus this week and we had to limit much of our training," Dunga told reporters after Brazil had lost 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw. "Today was a game in which it was crucial to use speed and that was what we lacked at the end.

"They had a virus, they had headaches, sore backs, aches and pains all over, each of them worse than the next," he added.

"Some vomited and we had to slow down our training sessions because of that."

Brazil had the best of the first half and went in 1-0 up thanks to a poacher's goal from Robinho.

But a schoolboy error from Thiago Silva, when he handled the ball, gave Paraguay a penalty after 70 minutes and Derlis Gonzalez made no mistake from the spot.

Everton Ribeiro and Douglas Costa then both missed in the penalty shoot-out for Brazil, giving Paraguay their victory.

While Dunga felt the virus had affected their preparation, his players said it had little bearing on the outcome of the game, while team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said they were all fit for the game.

"I am not using that as an excuse," said Robinho. "We could have won the game with a virus or not."

Goalkeeper Jefferson was more forthcoming but also denied it was a factor in the result, Dunga's second loss in 14 games since he returned as coach after the 2014 World Cup.

"Everyone woke up with headaches and some had aches and pains, it was weird that everyone got it at the same time," Jefferson said.

"But we can't use it as an excuse even though some players felt it. I don't think it affected the result."

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- Reuters


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