Brazil squeeze past Chile
Posted: 28 June 2014 Time: 21:06
Brazil are through to the World Cup quarterfinals after a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Chile at Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, on Saturday night.
The match finished 1-1 after 120 minutes, before Gonzalo Jara’s spot-kick hit the upright and bounced out to hand Selecao the hard-fought win.
Earlier, David Luiz had given Brazil the lead in the 18th minute, before Alexi Sanchez equalised just past the half-hour mark.
The visitors then dominated the second half and actually hit the crossbar with one of the final kicks of extra-time.
Brazil, spurred on by an incredible home support, started the brighter in a first 20 minutes characterized by some rough challenges, with Neymar more often than not the victim.
But Selecao did eventually break the deadlock on 18 minutes when Luiz slotted at the far-post following a great flick-on by Hulk from a corner-kick.
The hosts continued to press, but against the run of play Chile drew level, just past the half-hour mark. Some lax defending from a Brazilian throw-in allowed Eduardo Vargas to steal in and square to Sanchez, who was in acres of space. The Barcelona man composed himself and slotted into the far corner.
Four minutes later and Brazil were almost back in front when Neymar rose unmarked to connect a right-wing cross, but his header deflected off a defender and drifted inches wide.
Dani Alves fired a thunderbolt at Claudio Bravo in the final minute of the first half, but the goalkeeper was up to the challenge.
Chile were by far the better team after the break, though Brazil had the ball in the back of the net on 55 minutes, only for Hulk to be adjudged to have used his arm. It was a close call.
Charles Aranguiz forced Julio Cesar into a fine point-blank save just past the hour-mark, before substitute Jo missed a great chance and Neymar headed straight at Bravo.
The match went into extra-time, but there was little to speak of until the final minute, when substitute Maurico Panilla struck the crossbar with a drive from distance.
Julio Cesar then saved twice in the penalty shootout before Jara hit the woodwork to send the Brazilians into the next round … just.