World champ Corinthians loses to 3rd-division club

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Club World Cup winner Corinthians is facing an onslaught of criticism after a humbling loss to a third-division club in the Brazilian Cup.

Corinthians, with Alexandre Pato playing up front, was heavily favored in the matchup against minnow Luverdense in the first leg of the round-of-16 of the Brazilian cup on Wednesday, but fell 1-0 after a lackluster performance that left players and coaches struggling to find words to try to explain the result.

Corinthians coach Tite said: ''I won't accept people calling this embarrassing, it would be disrespectful. We just played very badly.''

Luverdense, founded less than 10 years ago, can advance with a draw in the return leg at the Pacaembu Stadium next week.

Corinthians beat Chelsea 1-0 in the final of FIFA's Club World Cup last December.

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