Copa America 2019, Brazil 0-0 Venezuela: 5 Talking Points
Brazil failed to maintain their winning start to the 2019 edition of the Copa America on Wednesday, when they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Venezuela, during their penultimate game in Group A at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador.
Despite dominating the lion's share of possession, Brazil failed to come away with a win after being frustrated by the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and some determined defending by their opponents.
The Selecao were denied a goal on three separate occasions during the game, as they eventually missed out on becoming the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.
And although their qualification remains likely and within their own hands, their inability to find the killer instinct to put Venezuela to the sword will undoubtedly be a concern for the hosts, while heading into the latter stages of the competition.
In the wake of the recent results in Group A, Brazil are level on points with Peru at the summit, while Venezuela still have everything to play for in their final game after avoiding defeat in the first two outings.
Brazil and Venezuela are in action again on Saturday, when they face Peru and Bolivia respectively, during the final game of the group stages of the competition. Without further delay, let's take a closer look at the five major talking points from Brazil's frustrating stalemate against Venezuela.
#1 Double-edged VAR slits Brazil wide open
During their win over Bolivia in the opening game, Brazil were handed a huge favour courtesy of VAR, as the hosts were awarded a penalty for a handball after the referee reviewed an incident in the second half.
As such, Philippe Coutinho converted the spot-kick and added another goal, before Everton Soares completed the rout to hand them a winning start to the tournament on home soil.
However, the Selecao were on the receiving end of the double-edged nature of VAR against Venezuela in Salvador, as they were denied twice in the second half after finding the back of the net.
Gabriel Jesus, who replaced Richarlison at the half time interval, netted the opening goal just after the hour mark, but the referee's decision to consult VAR proved detrimental to the hosts, as it was understood that Roberto Firmino had trudged narrowly offside before feeding the Manchester City striker.
Despite their bad luck that saw the referee deny Firmino a goal in the first half, after he had pushed Mikel Villanueva in the build up to finding the back of the net, Brazil were still hopeful of turning it around in the dying embers of the game.
And although they put their best foot forward, Brazil were controversially denied another goal with just few minutes of normal time remaining to rule out Coutinho securing maximum points for his side.
Firmino was yet again adjudged to have been in an offside position, but this time around it was far from convincing and Brazil would feel they were robbed off a win in the end, due to the intervention of VAR.