Dunga: Brazil squad hit by virus

Illness was to blame for Brazil's Copa America elimination at the hands of Paraguay, according to coach Dunga.

Brazil coach Dunga blamed a virus for his team's quarter-final exit at the Copa America after watching Paraguay triumph on penalties.

The 51-year-old coach claimed 15 members of his squad were not in prime physical condition, with their preparation for the last-eight clash in Concepcion disrupted by illness.

Brazil took the lead through Robinho on Saturday but were pegged back by a Derlis Gonzalez penalty, with the same player scoring the decisive spot-kick for Paraguay in the shootout.

"It's not an excuse, but 15 of our players suffered from a virus this week. We had to limit some training sessions," Dunga said at his post-match media conference.

"Players suffered from a lot of headaches, back pain and illness - some felt it more than others. We had to reduce the intensity of training to try and help them recover. Some of them were vomiting. "Willian wasn't feeling well at half-time, and Robinho was suffering in the end."

Still, Dunga thought Brazil did a good job of thwarting Paraguay's aerial play but suggested they lacked the attacking speed to make a decisive impact.

"We had to balance the match on the physical aspect, and tried to win until the very end," he said.

"We tried to neutralise their main game-plan - the aerial ball. We had good moments through the match, with speed and switching between the sides.

"Today we had an important match that needed speed and we lacked that in the end."