Kazan Arena (Russia): Brazil coach Title left questions hanging over his future but refused to point the finger as the five-time champions crashed out of the World Cup after a 1-2 quarter-final defeat to Belgium.
Four years after the drama of Neymar’s injury and a humiliating 1-7 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil, Brazil were forced back to the drawing board as they followed neighbours Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia in exiting the tournament earlier than hoped.
Brazil had been undefeated in their last 15 games under Tite, a streak in which a resurgent Selecao had conceded only three goals. However, their World Cups hopes were turned upside down when Fernandinho’s 13th minute own goal put Belgium ahead before a superb strike from Kevin De Bruyne left Brazil, and Neymar, staring at a spectacular defeat.
Tite admitted it was a ‘bitter’ defeat, but he brushed aside suggestions he could resign. “I’m not going to talk about the future, I’m not thinking about the future,” said the 56-year-old. “I will do a general assessment of the match and our campaign, but I won’t be making any comments on individuals.
“This is not very human. And we also have to look at the global context. We played a match in which we had lots of possession, a lot of opportunities, but in terms of effectiveness… Belgium managed to turn their opportunities into goals,” he added.
Neymar, who appeared in great form when scoring once and setting up another in a 2-0 last 16 win over Mexico, failed to spark on the night despite testing Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois at the death. The PSG star was left in tears at the final whistle, refused to talk to waiting media.
“It’s a heavy, bitter feeling. This was very hard for us to swallow,” Real Madrid defender Marcelo said.
The Red Devils will now play France July 10, who eliminated Uruguay 2-0 earlier in the day, in an enticing all-European semi-final.