SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil got the win they wanted in their Copa America opener on Friday but the postmortem of the 3-0 victory over Bolivia was as much about the lack of atmosphere as the lackluster display.
The 46,342 fans, who turned out to see the match at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi stadium were not impressed and the team were booed at halftime with the scores tied at 0-0.
The entire game at the stadium, which was 70% full, was notable for the lack of atmosphere.
Coach Tite admitted the players heard the boos and said it was not realistic to expect supporters to cheer a team that was not playing well.
“We felt it!” Tite told reporters. “Young lads feel it. The coach feels it.
“Having been at big clubs, when you sometimes don’t produce, then don’t expect the fans to understand. They will boo. When you pass the ball along the back, from full back to central defender to goalkeeper, the first thing you here is BOOOOOOO!”
“We need to understand. If we get forward and create chances then they will applaud.”
Crowds in Brazil’s two big cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are known to be notoriously fickle and captain Daniel Alves hoped the home fans would get more behind their team when they take on Venezuela in his home state of Bahia on Tuesday.
“This is normal in Sao Paulo, there are lot of fans of clubs so it’s always complicated playing here, but we showed personality,” Alves said.
“There was even a moment when Tite shouted and you could hear it out on the pitch.
“It’s different in Bahia. People miss the Brazil team, and the energy that we bring. For sure, things will be more animated than here.”
Reporting by Andrew Downie; editing by Sudipto Ganguly