Tite slams 'absurd' state of Arena do Gremio pitch

The Brazil coach was unhappy with the pitch at the in Porto Alegre after reaching the Copa America semi-finals

Tite slammed the state of the pitch at the Arena do Gremio after Brazil scraped past Paraguay to reach the Copa America semi-finals on Thursday.

The tournament hosts were held to a 0-0 draw in the quarter-final in Porto Alegre, but edged through 4-3 on penalties to set up a meeting with either Argentina or Venezuela.

But Tite – whose team squandered numerous chances after Fabian Balbuena was sent off for Paraguay – was unhappy with the state of the surface, labelling the situation “absurd”.

“It is absurd, at a high level, to have a field so difficult to play,” he told a news conference.

“The guy has to take three touches to play. It’s absurd.”

Brazil were unable to make the most of their chances in the final half-hour after Balbuena was sent off for denying Roberto Firmino an obvious goalscoring opportunity.

But a save from Alisson to deny Gustavo Gomez and Derlis Gonzalez miss in the shoot-out set up Brazil, with Gabriel Jesus tucking away the winning penalty after Firmino also failed to convert.

Tite knows what could await his team in the last four, especially if Argentina can overcome Venezuela on Friday.

“Very large individual technical quality. As a challenge for all teams, they have to adapt when they have the best in the world,” he said.

“Messi is unquestionable.”

Argentina are no sure bet to join Brazil in the semi-finals.  

Lionel Scaloni’s side have struggled throughout the competition, with the rookie manager having yet to settle on starting side, and only just squeaked through to the last eight with a win over Qatar in their group finale.  

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Venezuela, on the other hand, come into the Friday’s quarter-final unbeaten, albeit with two 0-0 draws and their only win coming against Bolivia.  

The Vino Tinto also have conceded just once in their three matches, while Argentina surrendered three goals in the group stage. 

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