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Brazil v Paraguay Live Commentary,
Brought to you by
R. Santa Cruz
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
My name is Ben Cullimore and it's been an absolute pleasure describing all of the action to you this evening. Until next time, goodbye!
As a result, Paraguay will now face Argentina in the second of the semi-final clashes, whilst Brazil head home after another disappointing Copa America campaign.
For the second consecutive Copa America, Brazil have been eliminated on penalties by Paraguay, who continue to be a thorn in the side of the Selecao. Los Guaranies fully deserve to be in the semi-finals after impressing for the vast majority of the game, and the five-time World Cup champions were made to pay for their lack of belief and sloppy play as they sat back and defended their slender lead when they really should have pushed for further goals.
FULL-TIME: BRAZIL 1-1 PARAGUAY (3-4 PENS.)
GOAL! Gonzalez beats Jefferson with a brilliant strike that comfortably flies past the Brazil goalkeeper to send his side into the semi-finals!
GOAL! Coutinho sends an excellent shot past Villar that keeps Brazil's hopes alive. What an excellent penalty by the youngster.
R. Santa Cruz
MISS! And now Santa Cruz fluffs his lines at the vital moment, sending his strike well over the top of the goal and into the stands.
MISS! What a terrible penalty by Douglas Costa, who completely skies his shot over the top of the crossbar.
GOAL! Bobadilla unleashes a thumping strike that leaves Jefferson with no chance and flies into the top left-hand corner of the net. Great penalty!
GOAL! A lovely low shot from Miranda sends Villar the wrong way and makes it 2-2.
GOAL! Caceres blasts an excellent strike down the middle and into the back of the net to put Paraguay ahead.
MISS! Ribeiro tries to be cheeky but side-footing the shot towards the bottom right-hand corner of the goal, but he completely miskicks the ball and it rolls wide of the post.
GOAL! Martinez rifles a wonderful shot past the outstretched arms of Jefferson and into the left corner of the goal to make it 1-1.
GOAL! Villar dives the right way but the power beats the goalkeeper, who gets a hand on the ball but can't parry it away.
It will be Brazil who take the first penalty, and Fernandinho will kick off proceedings...
Paraguay certainly deserve the chance to prove themselves in the shootout after putting in a strong performance in the second half. Brazil have been increasingly poor and looked bereft of ideas for most of the final 45 minutes, and at many moments it seemed as if they had given up hope of finding a way past their opponents, who were just too strong for them defensively.
The referee blows his whistle and brings an end to normal time, meaning that, like Argentina's clash against Colombia last night, tonight's tie will finish with a penalty shootout.
Romero charges down the left flank in what is sure to be Paraguay's final attack of the game, but he poorly decides to shoot from a tough angle on the left wing and, unsurprisingly, his strike fails to trouble Jefferson.
Brazil are looking increasingly unlikely to find a winning goal as they try to battle their way towards the Paraguay penalty area. They just can't seem to piece together a series of passes that is desperately needed if they are to beat the plethora of red and white shirts in front of them.
Benitez is tripped over by Miranda on the right flank and are awarded a free kick in a very dangerous position. It's curled into the heart of the penalty area where it almost finds Santa Cruz, but he's penalised for his heavy-handed attempted header.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time. Can anybody find that all-important winning goal or will the game go to penalties?
Ribeiro keeps the attack alive before earning Brazil another corner. It's flung towards the near post but it's poorly hit and fails to beat the first man.
As we enter the final two minutes, Brazil have upped the tempo and are now putting Paraguay under pressure. Tardelli makes a great run off the ball before trying to cut towards goal with the ball at his feet, but Aguilar is there to dispossess the substitute before playing the ball out for a corner.
And now Brazil have made their last alteration, with Ribeiro coming on to replace Robinho.
Paraguay are pushing as many bodies forward as possible, and it is they who are on the front foot at the moment, with Brazil finding it increasingly difficult to find their way past the determined red and white shirts.
Paraguay have made their final change, with Benitez making way for Romero.
Brazil quickly regain possession before Bobadilla commits a foul 30 yards away from the Paraguay goal. The resulting set-piece is curled towards the top left-hand corner of the goal by Dani Alves, but he completely mishits his strike and it flies well wide of its intended target.
Great chance for Coutinho! The Liverpool attacking midfielder twists and turns on the left flank before unleashing a bouncing shot that deflects towards the bottom right-hand corner of the goal, but Villar is just about able to parry the ball away from danger before it can find the back of the net.
The Brazil defence comfortably deal with the resulting set-piece before breaking away down the right wing through Douglas Costa, but the attacking midfielder is cynically pulled back by Martinez, who receives a yellow card as a result.
Great counter atttack by Paraguay! Santa Cruz rises high to nod the ball into the path of Gonzalez, who then darts down the right flank before cutting inside and firing a rocket of a shot that Jefferson does well to parry out of play for a corner.
Brazil work their way down the right flank before earning themselves a corner, which is initially dealt with by the Paraguay defence. However, Coutinho picks up the ball just outside of the penalty area before chipping it into the feet of Filipe Luis, but the left-back's follow-up cross is cut out by Da Silva in front of goal.
Paraguay have made their second alteration, with Aranda making way for Martinez.
Coutinho stretches and catches Aguilar with a poor challenge just outside of the Paraguay penalty area, and he's shown a yellow card as a result.
As expected, that goal has completely opened up the game, and there is now plenty of space available in the middle of the pitch as both sides desperately push forward looking for what they hope will be the winning goal.
Paraguay have decided to make their first change of the night, with Bobadilla coming on to replace of Nelson Valdez.
GOAL! Jefferson goes to right way but he's beaten by the power of Gonzalez's strike, which flies past the Brazil goalkeeper and into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
PENALTY! A looping cross flies towards Santa Cruz, who battles in the air with Thiago Silva before the latter seemingly strikes the ball with his hand. He definitely had his arms in an unnatural position, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. What a chance this is for Paraguay to equalise...
Brazil have made their second alteration, with Tardelli coming on to take the place of Firmino.
And now Paraguay push forward on a swift counter attack, this time through Benitez, who charges towards the edge of the Brazil box before linking up with Santa Cruz. However, the striker carelessly strays offside and the linesman's flag is immediately raised as a result.
Brazil soak up the Paraguay pressure before breaking away on a very quick counter attack through Firmino. The forward plays a quick one-two with Robinho before trying to curl a low cross towards Douglas Costa, but it's cut out at the vital moment by Da Silva.
It's all Paraguay at the moment but, unsurprisingly, Brazil have almost every available player camped behind the ball as they desperately look to hold onto their slender lead. It now seems as if they are the side that are set up to hit their opponents on the counter attack.
Half-hearted appeals from the Paraguay for a penalty after Nelson Valdez is shoulder-barged to the ground by Thiago Silva in front of goal, but the referee waves his head and waves play on.
Paraguay go close again! A dangerous Benitez crosses forces Filipe Luis into heading the ball out for a corner, which is then curled towards Da Silva. The defender pulls off a great header from 12 yards out that Jefferson beats away with a strong diving save to his left.
Brazil have decided to make their first substitution of the game, with Willian making way for Douglas Costa.
Gonzalez does almost everything right but let's himself down at the last minute, as a poor pass forward fails to find a red and white shirt and instead ends up rolling harmlessly out of play for a Brazil goal kick.
Once again, Willian sprints down the right flank before seemingly being cynically tripped over by Aguilar. However, the referee decides not to award a free kick and, more importantly, a second yellow card for the defender who has been rather rash with his challenges since the start of the second half.
Excellent opportunity for Nelson Valdez! The resulting corner is curled towards the head of the striker, who is in plenty of space in the middle of the Brazil box, but he's only able to send his effort on goal just over the top of the crossbar.
Paraguay have upped the ante in the last few moments, both on and off the field. First, they muscle their way towards the Brazil penalty area and earn themselves a corner, before one of their coaching staff is sent to the stands for his slightly overzealous behaviour on the touchline.
Brazil successfully deal with another dangerous Paraguay attack before Firmino battles his way down the left wing and tees up Elias, who immediately unleashes a rocket of a shot from 25 yards out that flies well over the top of the crossbar.
Great strike by Gonzalez! The midfielder tries to take Jefferson by surprise and fires a cheeky shot from the resulting set-piece, but it's parried away by the Brazil goalkeeper before bouncing off Bruno Valdez and out for a goal kick.
Benitez flies down the left flank before cutting in towards the edge of the penalty area, where he's chopped down by Alves, who receives a yellow card as a result. Paraguay now have the opportunity to take advantage of a free kick in an extremely dangerous position.
Again, Brazil work their way down the right wing before Dani Alves sends another dangerous through-ball into the path of Coutinho, but this time the attempted pass is slightly overhit and rolls out of play for a goal kick before it can find the Liverpool man.
Willian and Coutinho link up well before the latter finds the former with a well-placed through-ball down the right flank, but Aguilar is there to show the Chelsea attacking midfielder off the ball before shepherding the ball out of play for a throw-in near the corner flag.
And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out onto the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
Brazil enter the half-time break with a well-deserved one-goal lead after a great goal scored by Robinho, but, in truth, they have been less than convincing since going ahead. Paraguay responded incredibly well to going 1-0 down and have arguably been the more impressive of the two sides, but their opponents' defence have held firm to keep them at bay and frustrate their front two of Santa Cruz and Nelson Valdez whenever they are able to get a sniff on goal. That may prove to be the theme of what is sure to be a closely contested second period.
HALF-TIME: BRAZIL 1-0 PARAGUAY
Paraguay patiently work their way towards the Brazil penalty area before, under pressure, Nelson Valdez is forced to fire a long-range strike, but it's comfortably saved by Jefferson, bringing an end to the first half.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be just one minute of added time.
Brazil have got almost every player camped inside their own half of the pitch as we near the final minute of the opening period, and you get the sense that they are just looking to hold onto their one-goal lead as Paraguay desperately attempt to find an equaliser.
Bruno Valdez shoves over Willian from behind, resulting in a free kick for Brazil just inside the Paraguay half of the pitch. They decide to play it short before attempting to work the ball towards the penalty area, but they fail to make it count and are forced to retreat to the halfway line.
The resulting set-piece is unconvincingly punched up into the air by Jefferson before bouncing around the box, but Elias is just about able to get a foot onto the ball to thump it out for a throw-in before a Paraguay player can get a shot away.
Bruno Valdez embarks on a great run down the right wing before attempting to swing a low cross into the penalty area, but Willian makes sure that he gets back to do his defensive duties and clears the ball out for a corner before the Paraguay defender is able to do so.
Robinho picks up the ball deep inside the Brazil half of the pitch before trying to battle his way through a sea of red and white shirts, but he's brought down by a crunching challenge from Aguilar, who receives a yellow card as a result.
Benitez is brought down once again on the left flank, and this time he is awarded a free kick. It's flung towards the far post where it pinballs around the penalty area before falling onto the head of Aguilar, but the defender is unable to find a way past Miranda.
Santa Cruz goes close! The Paraguay striker picks up the ball in acres of space 25 yards away from goal and, under no pressure whatsoever, is able to unleash a low shot towards the bottom right-hand corner of the goal. The strike is well hit but ends up missing the far post by a few yards.
Again, Paraguay aren't happy with the referee. This time Benitez skips past Dani Alves with ease before seemingly being cynically tripped over from behind by the Brazil right-back, but no free kick is given and play goes on.
Santa Cruz and Thiago Silva battle for the ball just outside of the Brazil penalty area on the right flank before the latter goes crashing to the ground after being dispossessed by the veteran striker. The referee immediately awards a free kick to the men in yellow, but the decision looks to be a very soft one.
After struggling in the wake of Robinho's goal, Paraguay now look far more settled, and they are starting to put the Brazil defence under pressure once again as they commit more bodies forward.
Bruno Valdez is caught napping on the ball on the left-hand side of the Paraguay penalty area, allowing Coutinho to pick his pocket before trying to cut the ball back to Firmino. However, he ends up running the ball slightly out of play and the linesman's flag is immediately raised for a goal kick, much to the relief of the aforementioned defender.
A lofted pass is fired forward towards Nelson Valdez but is cut out by Filipe Luis, who unconvincingly sends the ball out for a corner. The first is cleared out of play by Fernandinho before the second is only able to find Willian, and the Chelsea attacking midfielder immediately breaks away on another quick Brazil counter attack.
After taking their time assessing their options, Brazil decide to fling the resulting set-piece into the middle of the penalty area, but it fails to find a yellow shirt and Paraguay are easily able to deal with the danger.
Bruno Valdez becomes the first player to enter the referee's book after flying into Filipe Luis and bringing the left-back crashing to the ground with a poorly-timed challenge.
Coutinho is proving to be a handful for the Paraguay defenders, and once again he's brought down near the halfway line after trying to embark on a swift counter attack.
Brazil take Paraguay by surprise by breaking away on a quick counter attack down the left flank, with Coutinho sprinting forward before being pulled back by Bruno Valdez, resulting in a free kick for Brazil. They take it short and try to work the ball towards Robinho, but the pass is slightly overhit and bounces safely into the hands of Villar.
It's all Paraguay at the moment as they patiently pass the ball around in the middle of the pitch, but you can get the sense that they are holding onto possession because they are bereft of ideas, not because it is part of their game plan.
That goal will have thrown a spanner in the works for Paraguay, who looked set up to sit back and soak up the pressure before breaking away on quick counter attacks. They will now have to alter their mindset if they are to have any hope of fighting their way back into the game. They have come from behind twice already during this competition, but can they do it again tonight?
Assist Daniel Alves da Silva
GOAL! Perfect start for Brazil! At the end of a series of lovely, quick passes, Elias picks up the ball just outside of the penalty area before sending it out to the right wing, where it finds the feet of Dani Alves. The right-back immediately fires a great low cross past a plethora of bodies and towards Robinho, who is easily able to tap the ball into the back of the net from close range to make it 1-0.
After being put firmly on the back foot for the opening few minutes, Paraguay are now throwing all they've got at Brazil, who are having to defended extremely resolutely to keep the determined Guaranies at bay.
Another dangerous attack from Paraguay! They break away incredibly quickly through Benitez, who then spots Nelson Valdez on the right-hand side of the penalty area before teeing up the midfielder. The latter immediately curls a low cross towards Santa Cruz but Thiago Silva is there to cut out the danger with a vital interception.
Benitez charges down the left flank before cutting inside and chipping a deft chip towards the near post, where it finds Santa Cruz. The veteran striker meets the ball but is put off by the presence of Jefferson, and, as a result, he can only send his header a few yards wide of the Brazil goal.
After successfully weathering the Brazilian storm, Paraguay are finally able to push out of their own half of the pitch and break forward on a determined attacking move. However, they are unable to find a way through the sea of yellow shirts camped in front of them and are forced back towards the halfway line.
Firmino is chopped down from behind by Da Silva, resulting in a free kick for Brazil in a dangerous position on the right wing. It's curled into the heart of the Paraguay penalty area by Robinho but it's completely overhit and flies over the head of Thiago Silva at the far post.
Brazil break forward on another determined attack, with Willian twisting and turning before teeing up Robinho, who then tries to send a through-ball into the path of Firmino. It's slightly overhit, however, and is easily cut out by Da Silva near the byline.
Great strike from Coutinho! Brazil immediately push forward after good play down the left flank through Filipe Luis, who then cuts the ball back to the Liverpool attacking midfielder. The latter decides to unleash a thumping strike from 30 yards that Villar does well to push over the top of the crossbar.
And we're off! Brazil get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Dunga has decided to name an unchanged Brazil side to the one that beat Venezuela 2-1 in their final group stage game, whilst Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz has made four alterations to the team that started the 1-1 draw against Uruguay, with Pablo Aguilar, Derlis Gonzalez, Eduardo Aranda and Roque Santa Cruz coming into the side to replace Raul Bobadilla, Nestor Ortigoza, Osmar Molinas and Lucas Barrios.
Paraguay substitutes: Caceres, Samudio, Bobadilla, Barrios, Silva, Molinas, Martinz, Balbuena, Ortigoza, Oscar Romero, A. Aguilar.
Paraguay XI (4-4-2): Villar; P. Aguilar, Da Silva, Bruno Valdez, Piris; Gonzalez, Caceres, Aranda, Benitez; Santa Cruz, Nelson Valdez.
Brazil substitutes: David Luiz, Douglas Costa, Tardelli, Neto, Marquinhos, Geferson, Fabinho, Fred, Ribeiro, Casemiro, Grohe.
Brazil XI (4-2-3-1): Jefferson; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Fernandinho, Elias; Willian, Coutinho, Robinho; Firmino.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Paraguay looked impressive during the group stage as they battled against tough opponents in Argentina and Uruguay, holding both to draws to finish marginally ahead of the latter side in second place and, as a result, qualify for the knockout round . They showed great grit and determination to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against La Albiceleste in their opening game, whilst they put in an equally strong performance against Los Charruas last Saturday. As a result, 2011’s finalist will be quietly confident about their chances of pulling off a second consecutive Copa America upset tonight.
Today’s encounter, the last of the quarter-final games, brings together Brazil and Paraguay at the last-eight stage of the tournament for the second successive time. After a nervy 90 minutes, it was the latter side that left La Plata victorious four years ago, winning 2-0 on penalties, and whilst the five-time World Cup winners are arguably the favourites to record a victory this evening, they will be well aware that they have not had the best of luck against Los Guaranies in recent years. In fact, Brazil have only won one of the last four clashes between the two sides, a run that stretches back to almost exactly seven years ago.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s quarter-final clash between Brazil and Paraguay. My name is Ben Cullimore and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action from Estadio Municipal de Concepcion.