Where did it all go wrong for Brazil at the Copa America?

The Selecao went into the tournament as the second favourites, with the Opta supercomputer rating their chances of lifting the trophy at 23.2%.

Yet the nine-time Copa America champions were instead left licking their wounds after losing 4-2 to in-form Uruguay on penalties in the quarter-finals.

Brazil could have avoided that tie with Marcelo Bielsa's team, and instead have faced Panama, had they shown more in the group stage.

But as it was, an opening 0-0 draw with Costa Rica and a closing 1-1 draw with Colombia, another of the Copa America's most impressive teams, meant a 4-1 win over Paraguay marked the only bright spark in a disappointing campaign.

Dorival Junior, who took over as head coach in January, has asked for time and patience to complete a rebuild, having left several big names out due to a lack of form or fitness. Neymar, of course, was also absent, having missed pretty much all of last season due to injury.

But with Brazil also sixth in the CONMEBOL qualifying standings for the 2026 World Cup, what do the underlying metrics from the Copa America suggest about the Selecao?

Vini the Neymar replacement... Or not?

There was plenty of responsibility placed on Vinicius Junior heading into the tournament, with the Real Madrid winger tasked with being the player to take over the mantle from the absent Neymar, who will be 34 by the time the next World Cup rolls around.

Yet Vinicius could not light this tournament up.

In Brazil's opening match against Costa Rica, Vinicius did not manage to get a shot off, though he did create three chances for his team-mates, registering a respectable expected assists (xA) figure of 0.46. Essentially, there was a 46% chance the opportunities he created could have ended up as a goal.

Vinicius did take centre stage in the second group match, scoring twice in that victory over Paraguay. His double came from three shots with an expected goals (xG) value of 0.81.

The winger attempted 17 dribbles in that match, completing seven of them; it was the second-most dribbles attempted by a Brazil player at the Copa America since Opta began recording such data in 2011, behind Neymar's 19 against Peru in 2015.

Yet that was really the only glimpse of what Vinicius can truly do, and a reckless booking against Colombia in Brazil's third match saw him suspended for the tie with Uruguay.

Without their talisman, and even with a man advantage for the last chunk of the second half, Brazil were limited to just seven shots and only 0.58 xG.

Sure, Raphinha, Rodrygo and Endrick - who is a superstar in the making, though he was unable to make his mark at this tournament - are quality attackers in their own right, but with Vinicius unable to wield the same amount of influence he has at Madrid, there was definitely some cutting-edge missing from Brazil's attack.

Does Dorival deserve time?

Dorival urged Brazilian fans to show his team patience in the wake of their exit.

"We are undergoing a very important renovation or reinvention of this team," he said. "I have only coached this team for eight matches and this is a process that we have to go through.

"We are aware of the difficulties we will come across throughout the path, but we now lost a match in the knockouts and that wasn't what we expected."

But was there really enough promise shown for fans to show that patience?

Brazil scored five goals across their four matches, which is a tally bettered only by five teams, though of course, it has to be noted that four of those came in one match.

What about the xG? Well, Brazil accumulated 6.33 during their stay in the United States, which is the fourth-highest figure in the tournament as it stands.

Yet we must again take that Paraguay game into account, with 3.74 xG coming in that match alone, over half of their total amount.

So, that leaves just 2.59 xG across the other three matches, an average of 0.86 per game. The Selecao have also been held to two goalless draws.

They mustered 50 shots (12.5 per 90), which is less than Ecuador (51), Venezuela (55) and Mexico (58) - who dropped out in the group stage.

Defensively, Brazil were stingy, conceding only twice, though they did offer up 3.24 xG against.

And even in that game against Paraguay, Alisson made five saves, the most by a Brazilian goalkeeper in a Copa America match since detailed data began being recorded in 2011.

In midfield, Bruno Guimaeres and Lucas Paqueta were industrious, with the latter winning 12 of 15 attempted tackles, but that area of the pitch is becoming increasingly workmanlike.

That's not something Dorival can particularly control, with Brazil sides seemingly now less about flair and more about tenacity, but it does not feel like the Selecao without that sprinkling of stardust.

It's definitely not time to call time on the Dorival project just yet, but Brazil did look largely disjointed at times, and that is on the coach to resolve.