Dunga’s problems mount as Fred pulls out of Copa

Brazil lost one of its strikers today when it was discovered that Lyon attacker Fred had broken a bone in his right foot during a practice game against a local Under-20 side and will take no further part in the Copa.

Coach Dunga is unable to call up a replacement now that the tournament has started and will have to rely on his three recognised strikers – Robinho, Vagner Love and Afonso Alves – to overcome the setback of Brazil’s opening loss to Mexico.

Fans and local media largely excused Robinho of blame for the defeat. He hit the crossbar and constantly sought to lead Brazil’s fightback. But Love came in for some harsh criticism with several football radio talk show hosts demanding on Thursday that he be dropped in favour of the largely unknown Alves who they said did more in his 45 minutes on Wednesday than Love did in 90.

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