Paraguay shocked Brazil in a penalty shootout to advance to the Copa America semifinals today. In 24 hours both Argentina and Brazil have been knocked out of the Copa America on penalties.
Amazingly, Paraguay is yet to win a game in the tournament, but it will face either Chile or Venezuela, for the right to reach the Copa America Final.
The Paraguay game plan worked to perfection. They defended well and looked to hit Brazil on the counter-attack. It took until the 88th minute before Paraguay had its first shot on goal.
Brazil, which outshot Paraguay 16-4, had at least five clear scoring chances in regulation, most from young striker Neymar. But man-of-the-match Villar in the Paraquay goal denied Brazil time and time again.
Villar denied Paulo Henrique Ganso in the 66th, and made another terrific stop with his feet from a close-range strike by Alexandre Pato.
The Brazilians thought they had scored when Paraguay’s Barreto cleared a header by substitute striker Fred in the 82nd, but the linesman said the ball didn’t cross the line.
There was an altercation 11 minutes into extra time after a dispute between Brazil defender Lucio and Estigarribia near the sideline. Players from both teams were involved in the confrontation, shoving each other. Referee Sergio Pezzotta of Argentina sent off Brazil’s Lucas Leiva and Paraguay’s Antolin Alcaraz.
That was the last action of the game and set the stage for Villar to star again. Villar stopped Thiago Silva’s shot and Elano, Andre Santos and Fred also missed for Brazil.