Rio de Janeiro, July 3 (IANS) A strike in the second half by substitute Lucas Paqueta gave 10-man Brazil a 1-0 victory over Chile as the Copa America hosts opened a semi-final match with Peru.
Paqueta, who replaced the ineffective Roberto Firmino at the break, combined with Neymar before throwing 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 red card for kicking Eugenio Mena in the face in a ruthless attempt to win an air duel with his right boot.
Not surprisingly, Chile started to control the match then, but the Copa America champions of 2015 and 2016 could not find a way past goalkeeper Ederson. They came closest as Ben Brereton’s header bounced off the crossbar and Ederson showed sharp reflexes to keep a late attempt from Jean Meneses out.
“We were tested and we showed that we can overcome any situation,” Neymar said after the match at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Stadium.
“We scored and then we were able to defend against a team with good players. The most important thing is that we got through the match and now we are in the semifinals. ”