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Copa América: more surprises as Brazil exit competition

See all the goals as the favourites lose out to Venezuela and Paraguay.

The Paraguayans celebrate after winning the shootout.
The Paraguayans celebrate after winning the shootout.

BRAZIL PRODUCED ANOTHER disappointing display last night, going out at the quarter-final stage of the Copa América, as they were beaten by Paraguay on penalties.

The Paraguayans, who did not have a shot on target in the entire 120 minutes of play, largely had goalkeeper Justo Villar to thank for keeping them in the game. Villar’s hugely impressive display was encapsulated by the fact that the Brazilians failed to score even in the penalty shootout.

The game was not always played in a good spirit, with anger boiling over at one point in which Paraguay’s Antolín Alcaraz and Brazil’s Lucas Leiva were sent off following a minor scuffle.

Elano, André Santos and Fred all failed to hit the target with their spot-kicks, while Thiago Silva’s effort was saved by Villar. Edgar Barreto missed Paraguay’s first penalty, although Marcelo Estigarribia and Cristian Riveros scored, capitalising on Brazil’s poor attempts and leading their side to victory.

Brazil were thus left to rue missing several chances prior to the shootout, in a game that they largely dominated. Pato missed a one-on-one with Villar, while Neymar also failed to take advantage of a good opportunity on more than one occasion, enabling their opponents to be ultimately rewarded for their resilience and dogged defensive display.

Key player: There is no looking past Paraguayan goalkeeper and captain, Justo Villar, who produced the perfect performance. The goalkeeper did not put a foot wrong in the entire match, making a series of fine saves and proving equally impressive in the penalty shootout.

Turning point: With less than ten minutes remaining, Fred’s header finally beat Villar only for Barreto to clear off the line. At that stage, Brazil were undoubtedly beginning to wonder if it was going to be their day.

Elsewhere, another surprise occurred as unfancied Venezuela beat Chile 2-1.

Oswaldo Vizcarrondo and Gabriel Cichero got the all-important goals as Venezuela progressed to the semi-finals of the Copa América for the first time ever.

Chile’s Humberto Suazo had briefly levelled the sides in the second half, before Cichero’s winner.

Next up: Uruguay play Peru while Venezuela face Paraguay in the semis.

Read more: Copa América: Uruguay, Peru stun favourites>

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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