International

Willian shoot-out success as Brazil make Copa America last-four

Willian scored one of the penalties that sent Brazil into the semi-finals of the Copa America, a tournament his nation are hosting.

The Chelsea player began the quarter-final against Paraguay on the bench but with the game still goalless with 20 minutes left to play, he was brought on in an attacking move with a deep-lying midfielder taken off.

Not for the first time in this competition there were boos for the Brazilians from some of their fans at half-time. Their best chances at that stage had come very early in the game with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson doing well to keep out the best effort of the first 45 minutes which came from Paraguay.

Brazil were awarded a penalty early in the second half but after a VAR review that was downgraded to a free-kick but with a red card shown to Paraguay. Dani Alves’ attempt with the free-kick was well-saved, with Willian introduced 10 minutes later and Brazil pushing hard for the opener against 10 men.

A good save denied Alex Sandro who had come on for former Chelsea man Filipe Luis at half-time and then with 90 minutes played, Willian smashed a shot against the inside of the post.
 

Other chances had come and gone but with no extra-time implemented, the match went straight to penalties. The Brazil manager Tite later condemned the state of the pitch in Porto Alegre.

After Paraguay had seen their first one saved, it was Willian to take Brazil’s first in the shoot-out and he made it 1-0. It became level at 3-3 after Roberto Firmino missed but Paraguay squandered the penalty that immediately followed so Gabriel Jesus was able to make it 4-3 to complete the hosts’ victory.
Brazil play either Argentina or Venezuela in their semi-final on Thursday.

 

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