Brazil edge Chile on penalties
Rio de Janeiro - Nervous Brazil beat Chile 3-2 on penalties to reach the Soccer World Cup
quarter-finals on Saturday after an epic battle that left Neymar and his
team-mates in tears.Two first half-goals were all the teams managed in a fast-paced and tense 90 minutes and extra time in the Mineirao Stadium.
As it happened: Brazil v Chile
Jara missed the decisive penalty for Chile, crashing his shot against
the post and across the face of the goal, to continue his country's
record of World Cup misery against Brazil.
Willian and Hulk both
missed from the spot for Brazil. But David Luiz, Marcelo and Neymar all
kept their cool to score while Julio Cesar made crucial saves from
Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez.
Neymar sank to his knees in
disbelief afterwards amid widespread tears of joy. Some of the Chilean
players hid their weeping under their shirts as they left the field.
am sad because to play like this against the hosts and end up losing in
the way we did is obviously very hard for us," said Chile coach Jorge
"The players did everything they could."
Barcelona star Sanchez pounced on poor Brazilian defending to equalise
for Chile in the 32nd minute, cancelling out an 18th-minute opener for
the hosts bundled in by Luiz.
Brazil had the majority of the
chances, but were jittery in the second half and were hugely lucky to
survive at the end of extra time when substitute Pinilla lashed a shot
against the bar from the edge of the area.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's
side now look forward to a quarter-final against either Uruguay or
Colombia in Fortaleza, while Chile contemplate a last-16 exit at the
hands of Brazil, just as they suffered in 1998 and 2010.
As in all of their group games, Brazil started frantically amid a backdrop of deafening noise from the crowd of almost 60,000.
were subjected to the sort of high and energetic pressing game they
normally inflict upon others and Marcelo shot narrowly wide before
English referee Howard Webb rejected loud appeals for a penalty when
Hulk went down in the area after coming together with Mauricio Isla.
and their fans celebrated in the 18th minute, however. Neymar swung in a
corner from the left and Thiago Silva headed the ball on towards the
back post, went into the net off Jara who was under pressure from Luiz.
who also lost to Brazil in the 1962 semi-finals, faced a huge challenge
to come from behind, but Brazil allowed them to control possession and
gifted them an equaliser.
Hulk made a carelessly pass, allowing
Eduardo Vargas to pounce and set up Sanchez, who had hardly been
involved in the game but came alive to coolly beat Cesar in goal.
side were then forced to weather a storm into half-time that saw a
Neymar header deflected past the post and Claudio Bravo tip a powerful
30-yard drive from Daniel Alves over the bar.
Chile looked more
comfortable after the restart, even if they had a let-off 10 minutes
into the second half when Hulk succeeded in turning the ball into the
net with his knee and wheeled away in celebration.
Hulk thought he
had redeemed himself for his error in Chile's equaliser, but the
referee ruled that he had controlled the ball with his arm and
brandished a yellow card to the burly forward.
As nerves took
hold, Brazil needed Cesar to come to the rescue with a fine reaction
save from a Charles Aranguiz shot, while Neymar, so often the hosts'
source of genuine inspiration, faded from the game.
came to the forefront. He delivered a glorious cross from the left that
Jo, on in place of Fred, could not convert and then stung the palms of
Bravo after accelerating into the box.
In the first period of extra time, Hulk produced another trademark thunderbolt from 30 yards that was blocked by Bravo.
meanwhile, seemed happy to take their chances in the lottery of a
penalty shoot-out. Pinilla almost won it right at the last, only for the
woodwork to rescue Brazil, as it did again from Jara's crucial penalty.