Ecuador and Brazil played to a scoreless tie Saturday night in a game Ecuador believes it should have won.
In the 66th minute of the opening round of Copa America play in Los Angeles, Ecuadorian striker Miller Bolaños sent a cross very close to the endline that Brazil goalkeeper Alisson mishandled and bounced into the net.
“I’m angry. It was a legitimate goal, I have seen it several times, and unfortunately they made a mistake once again in favor of the team with bigger name recognition,” said coach Gustavo Quinteros at the postgame press conference at the Rose Bowl.
Video replays appear to show the ball in play but even Quinteros conceded that the call was simply a mistake. “Human error is a part of the game and when you make a call 50 or 60 meters away from play, it’s easy to make a mistake.”
Besides the controversial call, Ecuador and Brazil appeared evenly matched for most of the game, with both sides controlling the action for extended periods. The teams appeared out of sync at times, a factor Quinteros blames on short training time and jet lag that affected players flying in from Europe.
The crowd appeared to overwhelmingly favor Ecuador, loudly booing the no-goal call in the 66th minute.