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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Brazil reach Copa America final
SEMI-FINAL: BRAZIL 2-2 URUGUAY

Brazil win 5-4 on penalties

Julio Baptista
Former Arsenal striker Julio Baptista scored for Brazil
Defending Copa America champions Brazil twice lost their lead against Uruguay before triumphing on penalties in a bad-tempered semi-final.

Brazil went ahead in the 13th minute after the first flowing move of the game, which was played in sapping heat and humidity in Maraicabo, Venezuela.

A break down the right ended with Fabian Carini superbly saving Mineiro's shot only for Maicon to snap up the rebound.

The game was then held up for 14 minutes when the floodlights failed, but upon the restart Uruguay took the initiative.

Alvaro Recoba's inswinging free kicks and corners were causing havoc in the Brazil defence and for Brazil goalkeeper Doni - who also had to save Diego Forlan's snap shot.

606: DEBATE
But in the fourth minute of first-half injury time - added on for the floodlight failure - Doni failed to clear a Recoba cross and the ball fell to Forlan, who scored with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Brazil regained the lead five minutes later when former Arsenal striker Julio Baptista finished off following a free-kick on the right.

But as Brazil eyed a place in the final, Uruguay pulled level again in the 70th minute through substitute Sebastian Abreu, who replaced Recoba at halftime.

Jorge Fucile slipped the ball to Cristian Rodriguez on the left, his cross was headed on by Forlan to Abreu, who scrambled the ball in at the far post.

Neither side could conjure up a breakthrough and the match finished with scores level at 2-2.

A dramatic penalty shoot-out went to sudden death. After Fernando hit the post for Brazil, Pablo Garcia - needing to convert to send Uruguay through - did the same.

Gilberto then scored for Brazil and Diego Lugano missed to put Brazil into the final.

But the game ended in an ugly scuffle after Brazil's celebrations appeared to provoke Uruguay as they repeated their penalty shootout win over the same opponents at the same stage of the previous tournament three years ago.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez and his players left without commenting after the match.


  • Brazil coach Dunga:
    "To be a winning team, you have to know how to suffer.

    "In the most difficult moment, you have to have posture, courage and fight until the end.

    "I want to thank the players because they left their families behind to come here and play in a very difficult competition.

    "We have been together for nearly one month and their behaviour has been exemplary throughtout. They have shown great dedication, effort and love for the shirt of Brazil. All this has been after a long and tiring season in Europe.

    "I wasn't certain we would win but I had great conviction that we would.

    "Penalties are not just about the moment, it's a result of the preparation and work beforehand."


    Next fixtures (Kick-off times BST):

    Thursday 12 July - Semi-finals
    Mexico v Argentina (0150)



    SEE ALSO
    Argentina and Mexico reach semis
    09 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Brazil sink Chile to reach semis
    08 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Mascherano helps Argentina to win
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    Pizarro goals send Peru through
    04 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Argentina into last eight of Copa
    03 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Robinho hat-trick revives Brazil
    02 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Historic win sends Venezuela top
    01 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Tevez nets in Argentina victory
    29 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Brazil beaten as shocks continue
    28 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Peru shock Uruguay in Copa opener
    27 Jun 07 |  Internationals
    Tim Vickery column
    02 Jul 07 |  Internationals
    Football tries to tackle Venezuela
    25 Jun 07 |  Americas
    S America urges Fifa to lift ban
    15 Jun 07 |  Americas


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