Brazil woes continue in Copa defeat to Paraguay
CONCEPCION, Chile (AP) – Paraguay defeated Brazil 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Copa America football competition, handing the five-time world champions yet another disappointment a year after the humiliating World Cup elimination at home.
Midfielder Everton Ribeiro and striker Douglas Costa each missed in the shootout for Brazil, and Derlis Gonzalez converted the winning spot-kick for Paraguay, setting up a match against Argentina on Tuesday. Chile will face Peru on Monday in the other semi-final.
It was the second consecutive time that Paraguay eliminated Brazil on penalties in the quarter-finals of the South American tournament. They went on to lose the 2011 final to Uruguay, but now it will have another chance at their second title, and first since 1979.
“Nobody believed in us but we showed that we are more united than ever, and we want more,” Gonzalez said.
About an hour after the match, Gonzalez tweeted that a family member died of a heart attack while celebrating Paraguay’s victory. He posted the photo of the man who died, saying he “couldn’t believe” that it had happened.
While the Paraguayans will try to reach the final for the second straight time, Brazil will go home still yet to achieve a success that would help bury the memory of the humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany at their home World Cup last year. The Copa America was the first official competition for Brazil since.
Brazil disappointed from the start in Chile, where they were trying to win their third title in the past four Copa Americas. They needed a last-minute goal to beat Peru 2-1 in the opener, then lost 1-0 to Colombia in a match marked by a confrontation that led to Neymar’s four-game suspension and exit from the tournament. Brazil did beat Venezuela 2-0 in their last group match, but without playing well.
Now coach Dunga’s team will have to start focusing on the 2018 World Cup, as the South American qualifying tournament begins in October.
“We know we’ll have to work hard going forward,” Dunga said. “There’s a lot to learn from what happened here.”