PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil - Brazil are likely to struggle in the South American World Cup qualifying group until the end of the competition, coach Dunga warned on Monday. Brazil dropped to fourth in the 10-team group - the lowest position in which they can qualify directly for the 2010 finals in South Africa - after drawing 1-1 away to Ecuador on Sunday. It was their sixth draw in 11 games and also their luckiest as Ecuador squandered a hatful of chances. "We would like to get it over with but in the past, the World Cup qualifiers, with the exception of 2006, have shown us that it usually goes to the wire," he told a news conference. "The tournament is point for point, with the teams very close to each other, until the end, so we have to concentrate hard and win at home." Brazil, who host bottom-of-the-table Peru on Wednesday, are the only team to have appeared at every World Cup tournament although their record has been put to the test recently. They qualified for the 1994 World Cup in their last game against Uruguay and also reached the 2002 finals by beating Venezuela in their final match. In 2006, they booked their place with two matches still to play. Dunga blamed the high altitude of Quito, 2,800 metres above sea level, for his team's lack of ambition on Sunday. "We arrived on the day of the game which makes the logistics different," he told reporters. "I would like you to climb some stairs four or five times to see the difference. "The ball is different, the speed is different. This makes it different. Brazil's strong point is our control of the ball and passing becomes more difficult. "Every team which plays at altitude tries to slow the rhythm of the game. People aren't aware of the difficulties."
31 March 2009
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