Dani Alves against Paraguay 2015 / CA2015.COM

History has a way of repeating itself. Brazil’s part in the 2015 Copa América has ended in exactly the same manner as their participation in Argentina four years – with defeat in the quarter-finals in a penalty shoot out at the hands of Paraguay. It had all began so well for Dunga’s team in the Estadio Municipal in Concepción, Dani Alves providing the assist for Robinho to put Brazil ahead after just 14 minutes. However, they failed to build on that good start and Paraguay gradually gained in confidence. An equaliser came in the second half, Derlis González scoring his first decisive penalty of the evening after Brazil captain Thiago Silva had handled the ball in the area. Ramon Díaz’s side looked the more confident and had chances to win in normal time before 1-1 at 90 minutes brought a second consecutive penalty shoot out in the quarter-finals. Ribeiro missed for Brazil and when Douglas Costa also missed his spot kick, veteran Santa Cruz had the chance to win it for Paraguay. The captain missed his penalty but when Derlis González was given the chance to take his side into the semi-finals, he kept his cool to slide home his second decisive spot kick of the evening. Paraguay now take on Argentina in the last four on Tuesday at 8.30pm local time on Tuesday. The other semi-final sees hosts Chile take on Peru on Monday also at 8.30pm local time.

Robinho gets early goal

Dunga picked an unchanged side from the one that booked a place in the quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory over Venezuela. Barça defender Dani Alves continued at right back in a starting that once again included Santos’ Robinho in place of the suspended blaugrana Neymar. Both those players combined just before the quarter of an hour mark to give the ‘canarinha’ the lead. Elías found the full back on the right wing and Alves then crossed perfectly, wrong footing the Paraguay defence and allowing Robinho to score his 30th goal for the national side with an excellently timed run into the box.

Paraguay do not panic

Prior to the opening strike, Coutinho had already brought a good save from keeper Justo Villar with a stinging shot from outside the box. Nevertheless, Paraguay did not panic and slowly worked their way back into game, Santa Cruz going close with an effort from distance just after the half hour mark. A chance for Nelson Valdez was saved by Brazil keeper Jefferson on the stroke of half time as Dunga’s side kept their lead until the break.

Derlís González spot king

The second half followed much the same script, only this time the Paraguayans did receive their reward. The equaliser came on 72 minutes, Derlis González scoring from the spot after Thiago Silva had inexplicably handled the ball inside the Brazil penalty area. It was a sign of things to come. The side coached by Argentine Díaz had previously come close to levelling things up. Brazil keeper Jefferson was forced into action on a number of occasions, most notably pawing away Da Silva’s header following a corner from the right hand side. Derlis González with 10 minutes to go brought another smart save from Jefferson as the game lumbered towards the final whistle and subsequent penalty shoot out.


BRAZIL: Jefferson, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luís; Fernandinho, Elias, Philippe Coutinho, Willian (Douglas Costa m.60); Robinho (Éverton Ribeiro m.86) and Firmino (Diego Tardelli m.68)

PARAGUAY: Villar, Valdez, Paulo da Silva, Aguilar, Piris; Cáceres, Aranda (Martínez m.76), Benitez (Romero min 83), González; Nelson Haedo (Bobadilla, m.73), Roque Santa Cruz

Goals: Robinho, 14' (1-0); González 71' (1-1)

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