Brazil's Gabriel Jesus shown red for horror kung-fu challenge as Chile's Vidal slams 'clown' Copa America referee

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Gabriel Jesus has apologised for the horror challenge that saw him given his marching orders in Brazil's 1-0 win over Chile at the Copa America, with Arturo Vidal adding further controversy by calling the match referee a “clown”.

The Manchester City striker appeared to have eyes for the ball when his flying high boot sent Eugenio Mena flying just after the start of the second period, forcing the Selecao to play the rest of the match with ten men.

Lucas Paqueta had just given the hosts a goal, however, and they were able to hang on until the final whistle and secure progression to the semi-finals, where they will face Peru.

What did Jesus say?

“Unfortunately I made a mistake in which the team could have suffered, but this group showed strength” Jesus posted on twitter after the match. 

“I apologise to my team-mates and I will always continue to try to learn from mistakes. Relieved to know that Mena is okay. We go to the semis!”

Arturo's fury

Vidal, meanwhile, took his anger out on Argentine official Patricio Loustau, claiming that the referee made it too difficult for Chile to find their stride due to unnecessarily stopping the game too many times.

“In a game like this, you need a referee with guts, who is fair and doesn't want to be the match clown,” the Inter midfielder told DIRECTV Sports after the match. “We're very sad, we deserved a lot more.

“We just lacked that goal. If the referee doesn't let you play, that stops the game all the time, who thinks he's the star of the show, then it's very difficult. 

“But we were beaten by the favourites, who were playing at home. At least we can leave with our heads held high.”

What next at Copa America?

With Brazil and Peru having already secured their spots in the final four, the winners of Uruguay vs Colombia and Argentina vs Ecuador will face off against each other in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

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