BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, June 18 (Reuters) - Brazil coach Dunga was jeered by the crowd as his side were held to a 0-0 home draw by Argentina in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.
Argentina played the more flowing football and will be much
happier with the result than the hosts, despite a double miss
by Lionel Messi in stoppage-time.
The visitors ended a run of defeats by their arch-rivals,
having lost the previous three meetings by three-goal margins,
and went second in the South American group with 11 points, two
behind leaders Paraguay.
Brazil, beaten 2-0 by Paraguay on Sunday, are fourth on
nine points after completing their third game without scoring
and narrowly avoiding a first-ever home defeat in a World Cup
'It was a bad result at home,' Brazil striker Robinho told
the Sportv cable channel.
The Mineirao crowd lost patience with Dunga in the second
half, chanting 'Goodbye Dunga', among other things, and
'Donkey, donkey' when he replaced Adriano with Luis Fabiano.
Dunga, who had no previous coaching experience, was
appointed after the 2006 World Cup.
Julio Cruz and Sergio Aguero missed gilt-edged chances for
Argentina and Brazil's disorganised midfield struggled to
string passes together.
Argentina's Jonas Gutierrez, one of four changes made by
coach Alfio Basile to the starting line-up from Sunday's 1-1
draw with Ecuador, set up the first chance for Julio Cruz,
whose header was saved by Julio Cesar.
Brazil created their best chance when Robinho broke down
the right and the ball fell to Julio Baptista but his shot was
turned away brilliantly by Roberto Abbondanzieri.
One minute later, Abbondanzieri rushed out of his penalty
area and was rounded by Robinho but the Argentina defence got
back in time to smother the danger.
But Brazil lost their rhythm after midfielder Anderson
twisted his knee and was replaced by Diego.
The visitors had an excellent chance shortly before
halftime when Fabricio Coloccini sent a long ball forward to
Messi, who broke clear but mis-hit his shot across the face of
Argentina had another chance in the 56th minute when Juan
Roman Riquelme's pass found Cruz free in the area but the
target man fired over.
Messi beat two defenders before his shot was deflected and
Riquelme had another effort saved by Julio Cesar as the
visitors continued to press forward.
Julio Baptista was Brazil's most dangerous player, forcing
Abbondanzieri to tip away a free kick and make another
difficult save with a hooked shot.
But Argentina, with Riquelme stroking the ball around
confidently and Messi taunting the Brazil defence, looked more
dangerous and Aguero wasted another chance by firing over the
Messi nearly snatched victory in stoppage-time when he
unleashed a shot which was well saved by Julio Cesar and the
forward fired wide from the rebound.