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Brazilian Coach Tite Defends Gabriel Jesus and Says that Team has Met Expectations

06/28/2018 - 11h34

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CAMILA MATTOSO
DIEGO GARCIA
FÁBIO ALEIXO
SÉRGIO RANGEL
FROM MOSCOW

After its 2 to 0 victory over Serbia, Brazilian coach Tite said that the national team is "striving to grow" in the championship and that it had met the "expectations" established for the first phase.

With this victory, Brazil is assured the leadership of Group E and will play against Mexico on Monday (the 2nd) in Samara in the final octaves.

"We don't live on expectations, we live in reality. This team supports mental pressure, is balanced and has resources for substitution. We are striving for perfection and growth", said the coach, who led the national team as coach in his own 24th competitive game.

Foto: William Volcov/Brazil Photo Press/Folhapress
SERBIA vs BRASIL - Gabriel Jesus
SERBIA vs BRAZIL - Gabriel Jesus

Tite didn't even try to play down his satisfaction with the team's evolution. "I'm obviously at peace. I'm going to drink one [a firewater and lime-juice mixed drink] today, if you allow it [smiling]", he joked.

During the press conference Tite defended player Gabriel Jesus, who completed the group phase without scoring a goal.

"A striker lives to play a great game. Sometimes, it's up to him. Sometimes it's up to Thiago Silva, who is a defender. Soccer is like that", Tite declared. His comments seem to indicate that he doesn't plan to make changes in the team before confronting the Mexicans.

Neymar didn't score either, but he fell down and complained less about the referees and his adversaries.

Tite praised reservist Firmino but said that "he can't work effectively" by changing every game.

The coach said that he wasn't sure if he would be able to count on winger Marelo, who left the field in pain, for the next game.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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