FIFA World Cup hosts Brazil were the first country to qualify for the tournament’s quarter-finals after scrapping past Chile in a penalty shootout.
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar was the hero for the Selacio, making two crucial spot-kick saves after the sides could not be separated from the 1-1 full-time scoreline.
PSG bound defender David Luiz opened the scoring for Brazil in the first-half, turning the ball in from close range after it was nodded on from a corner.
A defensive error at the other end led to Chile’s equaliser shortly after, with Brazil giving away possession in their own box and striker Alexis Sanchez making the most of the opportunity.
Brazilian striker Hulk had a goal disallowed for handball but it was Chile that came closest to grabbing a dramatic winner after they hit the crossbar in the final minute of extra-time.
The woodwork would again prove to be Chile’s undoing in the shootout, with Gonzalo Jara hitting the post and seeing his effort rebound away when he needed to convert after Neymar had put Brazil 3-2 ahead.
The result was a huge relief for the hosts as a nation of 200 million have high expectations for their team on home soil. None would’ve been prouder than Cesar, with his heroics redeeming an error that saw Brazil knocked out of the last World Cup by the Netherlands.
Chile had been part of the Australia’s Group B in Brazil, with the South Americans accounting for the Socceroos 3-1 in their opening match of the campaign.
Brazil’s progression will see them face off against another South American side in Colombia after they accounted for Uruguay in the other Round of 16 clash to be completed.
Young striker James Rodriguez grabbed both goals for the Colombians in their 2-0 win. His brace including a sensational volley that will rival Socceroos striker Tim Cahill’s remarkable effort against the Netherlands for goal of the tournament.
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