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Brazilians hung their heads in shame today in the wake of their Olympic football team's 3-0 drubbing by archrival Argentina.
The crowds that had gathered around TV sets in bars and juice stands across Rio de Janeiro looked deflated as Argentina piled on three goals in the second half of the semifinal and Brazil lost two players to straight red cards for violent fouls.
"Brazil always has dreamed of the gold, too bad we never seem to win it. We'll just have to wait another four years," said Adilson Paixao Silveira, a 23-year-old office worker as he commiserated with friends at a street corner bar near Botafogo beach where they gathered to watch the game that began at 10:00 a.m. local time.
Although Brazil has won an unprecedented five World Cups, the Olympic gold has long remained elusive in the football-mad nation.
Brazil, which had not previously been scored against in the competition, suffered its first three-goal loss to Argentina.
"It's especially difficult because it was Argentina. It's difficult to lose at any time, but to lose to Argentina is a tremendous shame," said taxi driver Gilson de Aguiar. "Today, I'm ashamed to be Brazilian."
Local sports Web sites are already calling for the head of Brazil coach Dunga, and taking polls on how much he was to blame and how long he was expected to last in the job.
"Brazil didn't show the spirit ... demonstrated by Argentina. It's that simple. The defeat was deserved," Daniel Piza, a columnist for the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper, wrote on his blog. "Now, it's time to think about a new coach."