Fri, Jul 23, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Brazil reaches final on penalty shots

COPA AMERICA The semifinal finished 1-1 after Marcelo Sosa scored on a header and Adriano equalized within a minute of the match's second half

AP , LIMA, PERU

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar of Barzil stops a penalty kick by Uruguay's Vicente Sanchez during their Copa America semifinal in Lima Wednesday. Brazil won the match 5-3 on penalty kicks. Brazil will face Argentina in the final on Sunday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar blocked Vicente Sanchez and Brazil beat Uruguay 5-3 on penalties on Wednesday to reach the Copa America final against archrival Argentina.

The semifinal finished 1-1 at the end of regulation after Marcelo Sosa scored on a header to put Uruguay ahead in the 22nd minute, and Adriano equalized less than a minute into the second half.

Argentina ousted defending champion Colombia 3-0 on Tuesday to advance to Sunday's final.

"The best two teams have reached the final," Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said.

Uruguay will play Colombia for third place on Saturday in Cusco.

Cesar dove to his left side to stop Sanchez's penalty shot when Brazil was leading 4-3. Alex then slotted in the decider past Uruguay 'keeper Sebastian Viera.

"I misplayed the ball in Uruguay's goal, I should've made the save," Cesar said. "It was important that I could make up for that in the shootout."

Luisao, Luis Fabiano, Adriano, Renato and Alex all scored for Brazil, while Dario Silva, Viera and Omar Pouso netted for Uruguay.

Uruguay came out strong in the first half, controlling the pace of the match and creating most of the scoring chances.

Brazil was caught by surprise, failing to impose its game at National Stadium. Only in the second period were the five-time world champions able to match their South American rival.

"Uruguay played organized and very aggressive in the beginning, it was a perfect first half," Uruguay coach Jorge Fossati said. "But unfortunately we had to play the shootout at the end, which is always like a lottery."

Fossati decided to replace regular starter Diego Forlan -- one of the team's offensive stars -- with defensive midfielder Diego Perez, in a move that paid off early as Brazil had trouble overcoming the team's midfield lineup.

Lineups

* Uruguay: Sebastian Viera, Joe Bizera, Paolo Montero, Dario Rodriguez, Carlos Diogo, Marcelo Sosa, Diego Perez (Omar Pouso, 81), Javier Delgado, Cristian Rodriguez (Vicente Sanchez, 69), Dario Silva, Carlos Bueno (Diego Forlan, 61)

* Brazil: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Luisao, Juan, Gustavo Nery, Renato, Kleberson (Diego, 74), Edu (Julio Baptista, 74), Alex, Adriano, Luis Fabiano

* Referee: Marco Rodriguez, Mexico


"They changed their setup a bit, that made things harder for us," Parreira said. "But we were able to catch up in the second half, controlling the match again."

Both goalies passed early tests. Cesar stopped Silva just a minute in, then Viera stopped Adriano from inside the box, and the rebound shot by Kleberson, the only survivor of Brazil's 2002 World Cup champions.

Silva missed an incredible chance in front of an open goal in the 12th when midfielder Carlos Diogo's header caught Cesar far out of the goal mouth, giving Silva a chance to just tap it in. But the striker's left-footer flew hard into the crossbar.

Sosa then scored from inside the box off Delgado's free-kick cross from the left. Sosa's diving header bounced the ball over a diving Cesar to finally reward Uruguay's edge in possession and territory.

Brazil grabbed control after the goal, but Uruguay kept threatening on counterattacks. A Sosa header sailed over the net, and Delgado's skidding free kick from about 20 meters was saved by Cesar.

Just before the break, Viera had to use his fingertips to deflect Brazil midfielder Edu's well-struck lob.

Adriano netted the equalizer just as the second half began. The Inter Milan striker beat Viera and defender Joe Bizera to the ball and found the net from about six meters for his tournament-leading sixth goal.

The teams went tit-for-tat looking for the winner.

Alex had a hard shot stopped by Viera.

Sosa had a powerful right-footer go over the crossbar, and another Delgado free kick missed high.

Adriano came close with a hard free kick, and a Silva close-range shot was blocked by Brazil defender Juan.

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