Brazil makes Copa America semis

Brazil reached the last four of the Copa America with a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Paraguay after its compelling quarter-final ended scoreless.
Brazil makes Copa America semis
Brazil defeated Paraguay 4-3 on penalties
Gabriel Jesus scored the winning kick for Brazil, while Gustavo Gomez and Derlis Gonzalez missed for the visitor. Striker Roberto Firmino pulled his penalty wide for the host. Home team Brazil is yet to concede a goal in its first four games of the competition. Jesus, who had missed a penalty against Peru in its last group game, said he went back to his tried and tested technique.

“In the last game, I didn’t look at the keeper. I hit it hard straight away and the goalie made a good save,” he told reporters. “This time, I did it my usual way, I looked calmly at the keeper. I could see him moving to the left and I side-footed it the other way.” After an unexciting first half, Brazil took control when Fabian Balbuena was sent off in the 58th minute for fouling Firmino as he bore down on goal.

The referee gave a penalty but changed it to a free-kick on the edge of the area after consulting the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). The sending off saw the home side lay siege to the Paraguayan goal but without joy. Everton saw a shot deflected over the bar, Jesus pulled a gilt-edged chance wide, and Willian hit the post in the last minute.

“We created lots and lots of chances, the ball hit the woodwork, the goalkeeper worked miracles, but the fans helped us and we never gave up,” said midfielder Arthur. Goalkeeper Alisson saluted his teammates. “This is a team that deserved the win. We’ve gone up one step, two more to go to be Copa America champion.”

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