Holders Brazil crash out of Copa America

LA PLATA, Argentina, (Reuters) – Paraguay, who did  not have a single shot on target in 120 minutes of a goalless  Copa America quarter-final, sent holders Brazil crashing out 2-0  on penalties yesterday.

Brazil dominated the 120 minutes of play, creating a string  of chances which Paraguay repelled with a mix of stubborn  defending, some luck and a man-of-the-match performance from  goalkeeper and captain Justo Villar.

The teams were down to 10 men each from the 13th minute of  extra time after a scramble for the ball by several players on  one side of the pitch developed into a free-for-all with  Paraguay defender Antolin Alcaraz and Brazil midfielder Lucas  Leiva sent off.

The Brazilians, brilliant at times in open play, were dismal  in the shootout with Elano, Andres Santos and Fred all firing  their penalties wide while Villar saved from Thiago Silva.

Edgar Barreto missed Paraguay’s first penalty but Marcelo  Estigarribia and Cristian Riveros converted theirs.

“It was a match dominated almost entirely by Brazil. We had  to take refuge a lot of the time at the back and, well, the  penalties are a lottery which we took well and they failed with  theirs,” Villar said.

Brazil had the best moves of the first half. In the seventh  minute, Robinho ran from the right across to the left and fed  Pato whose pass back into the middle was only half-cleared with  Neymar volleying the ball just over the bar.
They should have scored close to the half hour when Paulo  Henrique Ganso passed forward to Robinho who threaded a good  ball out right to the unmarked Neymar whose low shot went just  outside the far post.

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