Copa: 10-man Brazil sink Chile to secure semifinal spot

Ecuador hold Brazil to reach Copa America last eight.

Rio de Janeiro, July 3 (IANS) A second-half strike from substitute Lucas Paqueta gave 10-man Brazil a 1-0 victory over Chile as the Copa America hosts set up a semifinal clash with Peru.

Paqueta, who replaced the ineffective Roberto Firmino at half-time, combined with Neymar before thumping a shot past Claudio Bravo in the 46th minute on Friday, reports Xinhua.

But Brazil suffered a blow two minutes later when Gabriel Jesus was shown a straight red card for kicking Eugenio Mena in the face in a reckless attempt to win an aerial duel with his right boot.

Unsurprisingly, Chile began to control the match thereafter, but the 2015 and 2016 Copa America champions were unable to find a way past goalkeeper Ederson. They came closest when Ben Brereton’s header rebounded off the crossbar and Ederson showed sharp reflexes to keep out a late attempt from Jean Meneses.

“We were tested and we showed that we can overcome any situation,” Neymar said after the match at Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic stadium.

“We scored and then we were able to defend against a team with great players. The most important thing is that we got through the match and now we’re in the semifinals.”

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