Brazil lose their bottle to follow Argentina in crashing out of Copa America

Another penalty shoot-out; another giant falls. A day after Argentina went out of the Copa America to Uruguay, holders Brazil also crashed out last night, beaten 2-0 in a shoot-out by Paraguay after a 0-0 draw in their quarter-final in La Plata .



This was a psychological breakdown of staggering proportions, the first four Brazilian takers all failing from the spot. Elano and Andre Santos blasted over, Thiago Silva saw his shot saved by the excellent Justo Villar and when Fred stepped up needing to score, he dragged the ball wide of the left-hand post.

Brazil were more proactive than they had been in the group game against Paraguay, when they drew 2-2, and the Paraguay left-winger Marcelo Estigarribia was far less threatening when faced with Maicon rather than Dani Alves. However, it was still far from the sparkling Brazil of myth and expectation.

Their frustrations spilled over shortly before half-time in extra-time, a mass brawl breaking out after Wigan's Antolin Alcaraz had responded to Lucio's meaty challenge on Estigarribia with a meatier one of his own. Alcaraz and Liverpool's Lucas Leiva were sent off, although it was hard to see that their raised arms were any more aggressive than those of half a dozen other players.

Paraguay themselves were far less adventurous than they had been in the group stage. The result was a rather less engaging game than a week ago, consisting largely of Brazil pounding on a Paraguayan door that, with a little luck and some inspired goalkeeping from Villar, remained closed. The goalkeeper made a superb block in the first half to keep out a Lucio volley and dived low to his left to palm away a drive form the largely ineffective Paulo Henrique Ganso. Neymar wasted two good early chances in the second half and Fred had a header cleared off the line by Edgar Barreto; that was more than enough opportunities to have won the game, but there was little fluency to Brazil.

Meanwhile, the Argentina coach, Sergio Batista, refused to resign after his side lost 5-4 on penalties to Uruguay, Carlos Tevez missing the vital kick, following a 1-1 draw in Santa Fe. "It never went through my head to resign," Batista said. "I signed my contract five months ago, and I must keep working. The balance [of the side] was not what we'd have liked, but it takes time and hard work."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news
Sport
Lewis Hamilton with the Santander trophy after winning last year’s British Grand Prix
F1It's the race organisers who are to blame, apparently
News
peopleFormer Disney CEO isn't going to win any fans with this quote
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test