Brazil out of 2024 Olympic games after losing Argentina qualifier

February 12 – Brazil will not defend their gold medal at the Olympic Games of Paris after missing out on qualification. They lost 1-0 to Argentina in a crucial qualifier. 

It is the first time since 2004 that Brazil, who were aiming for a third successive gold, will not feature in the U-23 tournament. Luciano Gondou’s second-half header was enough to secure victory and qualification for the Argentinians.

“We left the competition very sad because we didn’t achieve our goal. We have always known our responsibility,” said Brazil manager Ramon Menezes.

“It’s a very difficult championship, there are two places. We already knew that, from the context. It’s frustrating, it’s unpleasant. Everyone will suffer here because of what happened.”

In the final four of Olympic qualifying, Brazil had gone down 1-0 to Paraguay in their opener before defeating Venezuela, but the loss to Argentina condemned the reigning Olympic champions to the exit door.

Brazil won a second consecutive gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games, defeating Spain 2-1, five years after claiming their maiden Olympic title on home soil against Germany at the Maracana.

The Brazilians’ elimination is an indictment of their national team football. Brazil’s men’s team suffered their worst year since 1940 with poor results in World Cup qualifying and two defeats in three friendlies against African opposition.

The U-20 team was eliminated by Israel at the World Cup and the women’s team had their worst outing at the World Cup.

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