Having collected just two points from their opening couple of matches, there been some soul-searching in the Brazil dressing room and, interestingly, one word has been repeated by several figures amid the inquest.
The hosts who prior to the Olympics kickoff were expected to win, entertain and score freely in front of their fans are now facing the very real prospect of an early exit.
A Brazil side consisting of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Barbosa have taken 41 shots in their two games –first against South Africa and then Iraq but just 13 of those efforts have been on target and none has rippled the net.
Reacting to their side’s disappointing showing especially in terms of result, some of the stars in the team have expressed their displeasure over their inability to get on the score sheet.
“There’s a great deal of anxiety about scoring goals and that is ending up unsettling us and undermining the players’ confidence. You stop having a go and it gets even more difficult.” Renato Augusto who had the clearest chance against Iraq, deep into second-half injury time told fifa.com. The midfielder is the oldest member of the Brazil squad.
Substitute Luan who was introduced off the bench in both matches to try to provide extra inspiration up front, echoed Augusto’s thoughts and returned to the word of the day: “In the first game we had a bit more space, but that wasn’t the case this time: they [Iraq] stuck everyone back in their box.
“That caused a bit of anxiety among our team about getting the first goal, which led some players to show impatience.” Luan added.
Centre-back Rodrigo Caio was at a loss to explain his side’s profligacy but refused to point the finger: “It’s hard to analyse. We have attackers who are stars for their clubs but I think it’s down to the team as a whole. We have to improve both individually and collectively.”
Although the team have not quite clicked the way they would have liked to, Brazil did still enjoy one very good 15-minute spell against the Iraqis. This came at the end of the first half when, by Augusto’s rueful admission, they “could’ve scored two or three goals”.
That quarter of an hour was a veritable whirlwind, with Neymar missing a header following a magnificent leap and almost scoring direct from a corner, Zeka bursting into the box before being denied by Hameed, Jesus twice going close (particularly with a headed effort that whistled past the post) and Augusto himself rattling the woodwork with a pile driver.
“The ball’s going ahead of or behind us, the opposition are cutting it out… We’re training and battling as well as we can, it’s not for a lack of effort. The ball just isn’t going in, but when it does, it’ll open the floodgates.” said Barbosa added.

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