Lucas Paqueta scored the lone goal of the match to take Brazil through to the last-4; Peru and Paraguay played out a six goal thriller before going to penalties.
Brazil beat Chile courtesy of a solitary goal from Lucas Paqueta at Rio de Janeiro to go through to the semi-finals of Copa America 2021. The hosts played the match with 10-man for more than 40 minutes after Gabriel Jesus was shown a red card. Meanwhile in the other match of the day Peru and Paraguay played out a six goal thriller at Goiania before Peru went through 4-3 on penalties.
Brazil came into the match on the back of impressive form. The 2019 champions were unbeaten in 11 games and finished on top of Group B. Whereas Chile registered four draws from their last six matches and they finished fourth in Group A. But the difference in form wasn’t visible on the field as both side failed to create quality chances.
The first half at Olympic stadium was a cagey affair. Brazil got the closest to scoring when Roberto Firmino at the back post failed to get a connection to Neymar’s teasing cross from the left side. At the other end Vargas’ shot from the right side of the penalty area was saved by Ederson.
Seconds after the restart, Paqueta played a one-two with Neymar on the edge of the box to get inside the penalty area. The ball fell to substitute Pqueta inside the area after some scrappy work from defender Sebastian Vegas. The Lyon player slotted the ball into the goal to give the lead to Tite’s side. However, within two minutes of the goal, Jesus was shown a red card for a horrendous Kung-fu kick on Eugenio Meno.
The red card incident pushed Brazil on to the back foot. But the 2015 and 2016 champions Chile failed to break the stern Brazilian defence. The closest they came was through substitute Ben Brerton. The English-born striker’s looping header hit the crossbar.
Peru and Paraguay played out an entertaining and dramatic 90 minutes of football. In the end, both teams finished the match with 10-man. In the 11th minute Gustavo Gomez gave Paraguay the lead from a corner kick. Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made a low save to his right to deny Martinez’ header. But the rebound fell to Gomez in front of goal and the central defender slotted in from close range.
In response at the other end, Andre Carrillo skipped past one challenge down the right side and delivered a low cross into the penalty area. Gianluca Lapadula tapped in from close range to level the score.
Five minutes before the break the Italian-born striker scored his second of the night for Peru. Carrillo dribbled past multiple players before backheeling the ball to Yoshimar Yotun, who’s through ball picked up the run of Lapadula inside the left side of penalty area. The 31 year old slotted the ball past Paraguay goalkeeper Antony Silva to make the score 2-1. Meanwhile just before the interval Paraguay captain Gomez was shown a red card by the referee.
And seven minutes after restart, Paraguay leveled the score at 2-2 courtesy of Junior Alonso’ strike. At the other end, Youtn’s shot from outside the box took a deflection off Rober Rojas and went inside the Paraguay goal.
In the dying minutes of the game substitute Gabriel Avalos made the score 3-3 to take the game into penalties. Meanwhile Miguel Trauco converted the crucial spot kick to send Peru through to the semi-finals.
Brazil will play Peru at Rio de Janeiro for a place in the Copa America final on July 5.