Copa America 2021: Peru sinks Paraguay, Brazil survives Chile scare to sail into semis
The 2021 Copa America has also entered its quarterfinal stage like its compatriot UEFA Euro 2020. A couple of matches were conducted on Friday, as it produced favourable results, with host Brazil staying in contention. Here is the round-up of the same.
Just like the 2020 UEFA Euro, the Copa America 2021 has also begun its quarterfinals commitments. Friday saw a couple of matches being held, with defending champion Brazil in action. In the same light, we take a look at how things turned out in both games.
Peru toils past Paraguay
In the opening contest on Friday, twin minnows were in action, as Peru faced off against Paraguay at the Estádio Olímpico Pedro Ludovico Teixeira in Goiania. Since both sides were of the same calibre, it turned out to be an intense fight.
The opening half was off to a flier, with Gustavo Gomez putting Paraguay ahead in the 11th minute. However, ten minutes later, Gianluca Lapadula equalised for Peru, while he also scored his brace in the 40th minute, thus handing his side the lead. Meanwhile, at the stroke of half-time, Gomez was shown his second yellow of the game, therefore being sent off, as Peru led at half-time.
The second half turned out to be a composed one from Paraguay, but it did have a surprise in store. Despite being down to ten men, Junior Alonso drew the equaliser in 54th. Although Yoshimar Yotun restored Peru's lead in the 80th, Paraguay did not give up and levelled it at the stroke of full-time, thanks to Gabriel Avalos.
Things moved straightaway into the penalty shootout, as it was going good for both until three misses from Paraguay's Hector Martinez, Samu, and Alberto Espinola ruined its chances. As for Peru, there were only a couple of missed opportunities from Santiago Ormeno and Christian Cueva, while Peru sealed its place in the semis.
- It was Lapadula's first-ever brace for Peru
- Since Diego Pérez in 2011, Gómez is the first to score and being sent off in the opening half of a Copa game.
- Ricardo Gareca would guide Peru in the semis for the third time, which is the most by any coach in the side's history.
Brazil struggles with ten men to get past Chile
In the subsequent and most anticipated game, Brazil faced off against former champion Chile at the Estádio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro. Expectedly, it turned out to be sharp from the opening half.
The opening half saw a total of seven chances, but none to any avail. Of the four saves in the half, three came from Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, as the deadlock stayed in place at half-time.
In the meantime, Lucas Paquetá put Brazil ahead right in the opening minute of the latter half. However, its celebration was cut short as striker Gabriel Jesus was sent off as he hit Eugenio Mena in the face with a high boot while tackling a ball.
Six more chances were created thereon, with Chile hitting the crossbar on an occasion, while twin saves arrived from both the goalkeepers. As tensions grew, especially for Chile, frustrations crept in, while Brazil did well enough to pile pressure on the Chileans with the attacking mindset. Nevertheless, it was the host that booked its place in the semis at the end.
- Jesus is the only Brazilian to be handed a red card under head coach Tite, while it was also his second under him.
- It was Brazil's 41st clean sheet in 59 matches under Tite.
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