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Frustrating Night for Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes Following Brazil’s 2-0 Loss to Uruguay

Brazil now sit in third place for the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying standings.

Uruguay v Brazil - FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Photo by Ernesto Ryan/Getty Images

Uruguay beat Brazil 2-0 in an important home win for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. It was a glorious victory for Real Madrid midfielder and Uruguayan captain, Fede Valverde, but on the opposite end of the spectrum it was a very poor showing from Brazil. Both Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior tried to impact the match, but failed to breakthrough a resolute Uruguayan team.

Vinicius Junior started in his customary left wing position, while Rodrygo started on the right. Rodrygo’s position was fluid, often popping into a central midfield role or as deep as Kroos does in a “false left back role” to pick up the ball and help Brazil build out from the back. Uruguay were extremely disciplined and timed their moments to press to near perfection. Fede Valverde’s men did not sit back, instead they baited Brazil to try and play through their defensive high-block. This tactic meant the ball was often at the feet of Brazil’s back four, in particular Marquinhos and Gabriel, who struggled to find vertical options. Brazil simply could not find Vinicius Junior, and when they did, Uruguay made sure to foul him and prevent the winger from gaining ground in transition.

The Uruguayan game-plan effectively mitigated Vini’s influence and continually forced Rodrygo to drop deeper and deeper — away from the Uruguayan goal. Rodrygo had the slightly better game, but neither Madrid player was at their best. The #11, Rodrygo, almost brought Brazil back into the game with a 30-yard free kick that hit the cross-bar. Had that gone in for Brazil, the tide of the game may have changed.

It has been two disappointing results for Brazil over the break, a draw with Venezuela and the loss to Uruguay, with Vinicius Junior publicly being self-critical. They will look to get back to winning ways in a months’ time with massively important matches against Colombia and first placed, Argentina.

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