Paraguay stun Brazil to reach Copa semis

ASSOCIATED PRESS
CONCEPCION
Published 28.06.2015 22:12

Paraguay defeated Brazil 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Copa America, handing the five-time world champions yet another disappointment a year after the humiliating World Cup elimination at home. Midfielder Everton Ribeiro and striker Douglas Costa each missed in the shootout for Brazil, and Derlis Gonzalez converted the winning spot-kick for Paraguay, setting up a match against Argentina on Tuesday. Chile will face Peru today in the other semifinal. It was the second consecutive time that Paraguay eliminated Brazil on penalties in the quarterfinals of the South American tournament. It went on to lose the 2011 final to Uruguay, but now it will have another chance at its second title, and first since 1979. While the Paraguayans will try to reach the final for the second straight time, Brazil will go home still yet to achieve a success that would help bury the memory of the humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany at its home World Cup last year. The Copa America was the first official competition for Brazil since.

Now coach Dunga's team will have to start focusing on the 2018 World Cup, as the South American qualifying tournament begins in October. "We know we'll have to work hard going forward," Dunga said. "There's a lot to learn from what happened here." Dunga seemed to put some of the blame of Brazil's loss on a viral infection that affected many of the Brazilian players during the week and "limited the team's training."

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