Brazil break Indian hearts after shocking exit

Friday, July 2, 2010

KOLKATA/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/PANAJI - For Indian fans from West Bengal to Kerala, the zing seems to have gone out of the World Cup football as their eternal favourites Brazil were shocked by the Netherlands Friday.

A pin-drop silence descended from Tullah in north Kolkata to Tollygunj in the south as the Netherlands broke into celebration at Port Elizabeth.

Soccer enthusiasts were left dumbstruck at the bylanes of Kolkata, adorned with big-size posters of Brazilian stars, Kaka, Robinho and others.

The streets wore a deserted look during the match. Shopping malls, markets, and other hot spots were virtually empty as people sat glued to their television sets hoping another spell-binding performance from Samba magician.

“I had never bargained for this. I left the hospital early as I wanted to watch the match with my kid. He has been crying ever since the Dutch equalised and took the lead,” said general physician P.S.Roy.

Kolkata, the football-mad city of cricket crazy India, are now searching for new heroes to keep their flagging interest in the world cup alive.

“I understood from the way Brazil were playing in the tournament that all is not well with the team. If you leave behind the traditional style and try to copy others, you are bound to fail,” said Alok Mukherjee, a former India player.

The scene was no different at Thiruvananthapuram as many Brazil fans were left in tears with the result.

Former India captain C.V.Pappachen said that not many in Kerala would have thought of this tragic exit of Brazil.

“Leading one-up after the half time, it has come as a shock. They were improving by every match but see what happened today,” said Pappachen.

In Malappuram, known for its football culture, an entire village near here was named Brazil nagar and the scene was heart-breaking after Holland came back in the match with two goals to take the lead.

Asif Zaheeer, who has donned Indian colours, said Brazilian coach Carlos Dunga’s style was totally different.

“See, after scoring the first goal, it went into a defensive game and that turned out to be their downfall,” said Zaheer.

Viva Kerala coach Sreedharan said being a goal up does not mean anything in football. “Certain flaws of the Brazilian team were quite evident soon after they scored the first goal,” he said.

In Panaji, Portugal’s exit in the pre-quarterfinal round may have knocked the stuffing out of the average Goan football supporter, but Brazil’s defeat also rubbed salt into their wounds.

According to Goa Football Association (GFA) secretary Savio Messias, Brazil’s defensive approach sealed the fate of the samba nation’s team.

“I am a Brazil supporter. The defeat was heart-breaking. Brazil were the favourites. But they didn’t play in true Brazilian style. They were defensive in their approach,” said Messias, saddened by the loss of the five time football world champions.

Former skipper of the Indian football team Bruno Coutinho Bruno said that from the pre-quarter finals, every opponent is strong and every match is a do-or-die match.

“Overall it depends on the performance of the team on that particular day. Brazil scored once within 10 minutes, after which they thought they were winning. But Holland played brilliantly in the second half and clawed their way back,” said the former ace striker, who tips Spain to win the World Cup.

Sean Faia, a football enthusiast, in a way swam against the tide by supporting the stylish Holland versus mighty Brazil.

“I am happy that Holland won. I always knew that they would. Sometime or the other they would beat Brazil. I am sure they will reach the finals,” Sean said.

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