Paraguay once more elim­i­nate Brazil in Copa Amer­ica con­test

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY PABLO ELIAS GIUS­SANI

Paraguay de­feated Brazil 4-3 in a penalty shootout af­ter a 1-1 draw on Satur­day to ad­vance to the semi­fi­nals of the Copa Amer­ica, hand­ing the five­time world cham­pi­ons yet another dis­ap­point­ment a year af­ter the hu­mil­i­at­ing World Cup elim­i­na­tion at home.

Midfielder Ever­ton Ribeiro and striker Dou­glas Costa each missed in the shootout for Brazil, and Derlis Gon­za­lez con­verted the win­ning spot- kick for Paraguay, set­ting up a match against Ar­gentina on Tues­day. Chile will face Peru on Mon­day in the other semi­fi­nal.

It was the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive time that Paraguay elim­i­nated Brazil on penal­ties in the quar­ter­fi­nals of the South Amer­i­can tour­na­ment. It went on to lose the 2011 fi­nal to Uruguay, but now it will have another chance at its sec­ond ti­tle, and first since 1979.

While the Paraguayans will try to reach the fi­nal for the sec­ond straight time, Brazil will go home still yet to achieve a suc­cess that would help bury the mem­ory of the hu­mil­i­at­ing 7-1 loss to Ger­many at its home World Cup last year. The Copa Amer­ica was the first of­fi­cial com­pe­ti­tion for Brazil since.

Brazil dis­ap­pointed from the start in Chile, where it was try­ing to win its third ti­tle in the past four Copa Amer­i­cas. It needed a last­minute goal to beat Peru 2-1 in the opener, then lost 1-0 to Colom­bia in a match marked by a con­fronta­tion that led to Ney­mar’s fourgame sus­pen­sion and exit from the tour­na­ment. Brazil did beat Venezuela 2-0 in its last group match, but with­out play­ing well.

Now coach Dunga’s team will have to start fo­cus­ing on the 2018 World Cup, as the South Amer­i­can qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment be­gins in Oc­to­ber.

Brazil opened the scor­ing with a goal by vet­eran striker Robinho in the 15th and main­tained the lead un­til the 72nd minute when Gon­za­lez con­verted a penalty awarded for hand­ball by de­fender Thi­ago Silva.

In the shootout, Ribeiro missed his penalty wide right, and Costa sent his shot over the cross­bar. Vet­eran Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz had the chance to end the con­test but also fired his shot high, be­fore Gon­za­lez sealed vic­tory at the sec­ond op­por­tu­nity.

With­out the sus­pended Ney­mar, Brazil again strug­gled to cre­ate scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. It con­trolled pos­ses­sion but had dif­fi­cul­ties get­ting close to the Paraguayan area dur­ing most of the match. Paraguay wasn’t able to threaten much, although it had a few good chances on set pieces and coun­ter­at­tacks, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half.

Paraguay’s equal­izer came af­ter Silva touched the ball with his hand while jump­ing to clear a cross into the area, prompt­ing the penalty that Gon­za­lez con­verted with a firm right-footed shot into the lower right cor­ner of Brazil goal­keeper Jef­fer­son.

Robinho had put Brazil on the board with a right-footed shot from close range af­ter a low pass across the area by Daniel Alves.

Robinho was sub­sti­tuted near the end and was not avail­able to par­tic­i­pate in the shootout. He was re­placed by Ribeiro, who missed one of Brazil’s penal­ties.

Dunga said Robinho was tired, but the vet­eran striker said he “wanted to stay in the match” for the shootout. Chelsea midfielder Wil­lian also was sub­sti­tuted.

Dunga seemed to put some of the blame of Brazil’s loss on a vi­ral in­fec­tion that af­fected many of the Brazil­ian play­ers dur­ing the week and “lim­ited the team’s train­ing.”

AP

Paraguay’s play­ers celebrate af­ter the penalty shootout dur­ing a Copa Amer­ica quar­ter­fi­nal soc­cer match at the Es­ter Roa Re­bolledo Sta­dium in Con­cep­cion, Chile on Satur­day, June 27.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.