SALVADOR, Brazil – Copa America hosts Brazil had three goals ruled out and missed a series of chances as they were held 0-0 by Group A rivals Venezuela on Tuesday.
Roberto Firmino had a goal chalked off late in the first half after the referee awarded a foul against the hosts, before substitute Gabriel Jesus found the net on the hour mark only for a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review to deem Firmino offside in the build-up.
Philippe Coutinho looked to have finally found the winner when he netted from close range but VAR intervened again.
Brazil made a brighter start but failed to take their chances as David Neres and Firmino missed the target and Richarlison was thwarted by Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez.
Venezuela tightened things up at the back and nearly took a surprise lead when all-time top scorer Salomon Rondon narrowly missed the target with a near-post header.
Richarlison was taken off at halftime and replaced by Manchester City striker Jesus, who instantly livened up Brazil’s attack but failed to help provide a goal.
The final whistle was greeted by loud boos from the unimpressed 39,000 supporters at the Arena Fonte Nova, the hosts again failing to attract a full house after underselling the opener, with over 10,000 seats left empty this time.