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Nov 15, 2012

Neymar blames pitch for penalty miss

Shades of Chris Waddle here as Brazilian star Neymar blazes over for Brazil against Columbia on Wednesday night.

Neymar has blamed the pitch after his embarrassing penalty miss in the 1-1 friendly draw between Brazil and Colombia in New Jersey.

• Match highlights: Brazil 1-1 Colombia

Neymar - who earlier had scored Brazil's equaliser, fooling his marker with a drag-back before shooting between two defenders - fired his 80th-minute attempt wildly over the crossbar after an elaborate run-up.

"It was horrible," he said afterwards. "The pitch was completely unstable. It wasn't just the penalty - the pitch didn't help the game as a whole."

Kaka also offered extenuating circumstances for the spot-kick howler, saying: "The field was difficult - you saw that during the penalty kick. It wasn't a perfect field, but I don't want to complain about it."

Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina agreed with Kaka's conclusion, adding: "The ball bounced differently and the grass itself separated from the surface easily.

"He kicked the penalty really high. I think the grass played a role in it, but it was like that for both teams."

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