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July 2, 2010

Dunga to step down as Brazil boss

By Soccernet staff

Dunga has said Brazil's quarter-final exit at the hands of Netherlands on Friday will be his last game as head coach of the seleção.

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Brazil justified their status as favourites for the tie in Port Elizabeth when taking the lead through Robinho after just ten minutes, but fell apart when Felipe Melo scored an own goal and was then sent off after Wesley Sneijder had made it 2-1 to Netherlands.

Brazil topped Group G ahead of Portugal and comprehensively defeated Chile in the second round, but any hopes Dunga had of adding to his victories in the 2007 Copa America and 2009 Confederations Cup disappeared with a poor second-half performance.

Dunga, appointed in 2006, has always maintained that his job was for four years and did not shift from that perspective when speaking following Friday's defeat.

"We knew when I started that I would be here for four years," Dunga said. "It's sad, it's difficult, nobody prepares to lose.

"We were not able to maintain the same rhythm in the second half. If you play with only ten players against a quality team like Holland then it makes it difficult. Without a shadow of a doubt, I am the coach of the Brazilian team, I have the greatest responsibility."

Melo, who will be blamed by the Brazilian media for their exit, said: "There's no way I'm the villain of the 2010 World Cup. It was a collective mistake. When I was sent off, it was already 2-1... I accept my share of the blame. I apologise to the Brazilian fans because we wanted to be world champions and it didn't work out."

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who was at fault when failing to clear Sneijder's cross that Melo headed into his own net, admitted Brazil were not contemplating possible defeat when facing Netherlands.

"It's not the end of the world," Cesar said. "I just think now we have to leave with our heads held high. In Brazil people always put a lot of pressure on us. This was a result no one expected. Every game Brazil enters, we enter to win."