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Football | Brazil

Neymar © Action Images

Neymar blames pitch for missed penalty



Neymar blamed an "unstable" pitch after the Brazil forward missed a penalty against Colombia with an effort which bore more resemblance to an American football field goal or rugby conversion.

"The penalty was horrible but you probably noticed the state the pitch was in, it didn't have any stability," the 20-year-old told Brazilian media after the 1-1 draw.

"I tried to take it slowly but it didn't work out...these things happen."

Neymar scored Brazil's equaliser in the 1-1 draw on Wednesday but his 80th-minute miss, when he sent his penalty several metres high and wide of the goal, meant the 2014 World Cup hosts missed a chance to clock up their seventh consecutive win.

"I was happy for playing a good part in the game. The team performed well," added Neymar.

The miss was poetic justice for Colombia after Daniel Alves won the penalty with a theatrical fall under pressure from Pablo Armero.

Brazil coach Mano Menezes agreed with his forward.

"The pitch had an influence. It made the match more difficult for the whole 90 minutes," he said.

"It's an atypical situation which doesn't even mention a comment. He will get over this."

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