Neymar and Dani Alves benched "for the good of Brazil" says Tite
Neymar, Thiago Silva, Arthur and Dani Alves started on the bench as Brazil lost 0-1 to Peru, but Tite defended his team selection in Los Angeles.
Tite insists the changes he made to the Brazil team against Peru were not to protect players for club duty as he instead used the opportunity to assess his squad. Neymar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Arthur Melo and all dropped to the bench, having started the 2-2 draw against Colombia, and Brazil saw their 17-match unbeaten run ended in Los Angeles.
Punished by Peru
Luis Abram scored the only goal with an 85th-minute header for Peru, by which point Neymar had been introduced as a substitute. Tite defended his team selection, though, insisting it was important to look at some new players following the Copa América, with Vinicius Junior making his debut. Neymar came on as a second half sub, replacing Roberto Firmino on 63 minutes while Richarlison made way for Vinicius 11 minutes later so that the Real Madrid star could make his senior debut.
"The most important thing was the team," Tite said. "The opportunities and changes were what I understood to be best in the moment, not to protect the players on the return to their clubs. I made the changes thinking about the Seleção. After the Copa América, another stage of opportunities began. It is only natural that we would not reach the same level of performance. I like to give opportunities to play - this is fundamental."
Meanwhile, Tite followed Fagner and Marquinhos in criticising the LA Memorial Coliseum pitch, which had been used by Argentina and Chile on Thursday. "The pitch influences performance, this can't happen," he said. "There are risks of injuries. There is no excuse for defeat, I don't want to say that. Do not take only part of what I am saying. The opponent had a strategy and won. But this cannot happen in high level football. You can't have the field in this condition."