Sunday, March 26, 2017

Brazil v Honduras: Dunga facing Copa America selection headache

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jun 2015

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Brazil coach Dunga is facing selection headaches leading into the Copa America with Wednesday’s friendly against Honduras his last chance to finalise preparations.

Dunga’s perfect record in his second spell in charge remains intact after Brazil recorded a 2-0 triumph against Copa America invitees Mexico in Sao Paolo on Sunday – their ninth consecutive win since last year’s World Cup.

Brazil were much-changed for the friendly fixture, with Dunga missing regulars Oscar and Luiz Gustavo – who have been ruled out of the tournament due to injury – while Neymar was absent as he took part in Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League triumph.

Philippe Coutinho and Diego Tardelli – goalscorers in the victory – and debutant Fred stepped up in the trio’s absence.

It is a welcome headache for Dunga ahead of Wednesday’s hosting of Honduras in Porto Alegre, before the eight-time champions kick-off their Copa campaign against Group C opponents Peru four days later.

“All players in this group should be ready to play,” Dunga told reporters. “Obviously I can only choose eleven players, but there are always injuries and cards so those on the bench must be ready for this.

“So it was good to see Coutinho playing the 90 minutes. It was his first time with the same structure of the team and his performance improved.

“Luiz Gustavo is out of the team and we didn’t have Neymar today so we were worried how our performance would be affected.

“I think it was good in the end. I have more questions in my head now regarding the starting eleven and the players know that I have so many options now.”

Dunga added: “There were lots of positive sides from this friendly. We tested three U20 players today. Fred had his debut. Fabinho played in the second half and did well. Felipe Anderson did the same. All of them played well in this match.”

Honduras, who are gearing up for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, head into the match on the back of an entertaining 2-2 draw with Paraguay.

The Central Americans twice surrendered a lead as they shared the spoils in Asuncion on Saturday.

Honduras are unbeaten in three matches, having gone seven games without victory prior to that.

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