Brazil Wins In Penalties After Paraguay Goes Down To 10 Men In Copa America Quarterfinals
Brazil beat Paraguay in the quarterfinals of the Copa America Thursday night on a penalty shootout. After 90 minutes of finishing 0-0, the game went straight to penalties and Brazil sends their way through to the semifinals to play the winner of Venezuela and Argentina.
The Brazilians had Paraguay on the ropes for the majority of the game, forcing them to sit back inside their own half and tirelessly defend Brazilians’ dynamic forwards, applying a total of 26 shots on them compared to Paraguay’s five. Roberto Firmino, Arthur Melo and Philippe Coutinho were applying pressure to the Paraguayans for 58 minutes before Firmino was clear on goal before being taken down just outside the penalty box. The foul saw the official raise a red card to the Paraguyan defender Fabian Balbuena.
— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 28, 2019
After going down to 10 men, Paraguay had little to no chance of providing any sort of attack, settling to put all 10 men behind the ball and hold on until the final whistle. In other tournaments across the world, if it was tied after 90 minutes of play there would be an overtime of 30 minutes, but for this Copa America they have outlawed that, deciding to go straight to penalties after 90 minutes.
In penalties, Brazil’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker made an incredible save with the first shot to give his team a major momentum boost ahead of the rest of the shootout. Firmino missed his penalty to make it level for Paraguay but Derlis Gonzalez stepped up right after at sent his shot wide as well. Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus stepped up and sunk the winning penalty, sending his team through to the semifinals.
Gabriel Jesus makes up for his miss, and slots home the winning penalty.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 28, 2019
Brazil has arguably the best attack in the tournament, even without their star forward Neymar. With a stubborn Paraguayan defense fighting for a 0-0 and clinging on for penalties, its unlikely Brazil faces another play-style like that this tournament. The more offensively-capable teams will open up more and force Brazil to defend and honor their attacks. Brazil will find out who they play in the semifinals after Venezuela faces Argentina on Friday at 3:00 EST.