Brazil's goalless duel with Argentina in the latest round of South American qualifiers for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa ™ gave the media in both countries plenty to chew on. And while Alfio Basile and his men received a passing mark from Argentinian football scribes, there was nothing but condemnation for under-fire Dunga as the Brazilian press returned a damning verdict. FIFA.com rounds up the press reaction to Wednesday's game from both sides of the border.
*A half-empty glass * The Brazilian media were in no doubt as to who was responsible for the Canarinha's unsatisfactory showing. The harshest criticism came from Lance!, which ran with a cover featuring Dunga's head inside a noose and topped by the headline "Hung". "Brazil draw with Argentina as the fans vent their fury on coach - Zico now the popular choice," fumed the sports daily.
O'Globo also registered its displeasure on its website. "Dunga gets the donkey treatment as off-key Brazil draw 0-0 with Argentina," ran the merciless headline. Publishing a photo of Ronaldinho in the stands at the Estadio Mineirao, the website added that the Barcelona man and Kaka were sorely missed, stating that "without them the future looks bleak". With Brazil's other stars having another off day, O'Globo also remarked on the warm applause Lionel Messi received when he was substituted.
Running with a front page photo of a closely marked Adriano trapping the ball on his chest, Jornal do Brasil opted for a short but no less powerful headline: "270 minutes without a goal". The online version of the paper was just as critical: "Even with the Mineirao right behind them, Brazil were incapable of beating Argentina. To cap it all, the fans chanted 'Dunga out' as he made his way off the pitch. All in all, a sad goodbye for a coach who had staked everything on this game."
Joining in the chorus of disapproval was Folha de Sao Paulo. "What a miserable clásico", it complained before highlighting the fans' displeasure: "The crowd whistled the team and demanded Dunga's sacking."
*A half-full glass * The reaction to the draw was far more positive down in Argentina. True to the direct style it has become famed for, Olé went all bilingual, mixing Portuguese and Spanish in its headline, "Voce arrugó", implying Brazil were scared of the Albiceleste. "Argentina were the better side and deserved to win right up to the end. As for them (Brazil), they didn't play at all, they defended deep and got criticised for the 0-0 draw."
Alongside a photo of Messi battling for possession with Anderson, the print version of the morning daily Clarín concluded that "Argentina had Brazil at their mercy but had to settle for a draw". The post-mortem continued on the inside pages: "While positive for Argentina, the draw was frustrating for the Brazilians." In the paper's eyes the Albiceleste's two star performers on the night were goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri and midfielder Javier Mascherano, both of them receiving match ratings of seven out of ten.
La Nación took a similar line. "A useful point in Brazil," was its front-page verdict. "Argentina were happy to come away with a point," it continued in its sports supplement before adding that the result helped the team recover some prestige after the lacklustre draw against Ecuador. The paper's man of the match was Fernando Gago: "He did a lot of very good work in the midfield, was very neat in his distribution, and organised and effective in his marking."
Gago also earned rave reviews in Página12, which ran with the headline "Argentina come away with the most richly merited of draws" and praised the team for raising its game and almost pulling off a deserved win.