Neymar blames "unstable" pitch for horrendous penalty miss

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Brazil star Neymar has blamed an "unstable" pitch for his horrific penalty miss in the 1-1 international friendly draw with Colombia earlier this week.

The 20-year-old forward was guilty of one of the worst spot-kick failures in recent history when he blasted miles over the bar, and into row Z, with the set-piece bearing more resemblance to an American field goal or rugby conversion.

The highly-rated Santos striker scored Brazil's equalising goal on Wednesday evening, but spurned a chance to clock up the World Cup 2014 hosts' seventh consecutive victory, with his 80th-minute miss, following Dani Alves' theatrical fall under pressure from Colombia's Pablo Armero.

"The penalty was horrible but you probably noticed the state the pitch was in, it didn't have any stability," he told the media after the game. "I tried to take it slowly but it didn't work out...these things happen."

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

Brazil coach Mano Menezes was quick to jump to the defence of Neymar, backing up his comments about the poor quality of the playing surface, and insisting the front-man will bounce back from the error that tarnished slightly what should have been a celebratory fixture, marking the country's landmark 1000th international.

"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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