Could there be any more dire penalty taking than the Selecao display against Paraguay? Elano and Andre Santos were completely off target while Thiago Silva’s effort was saved by Justo Villar. Each miss left the Brazilians in the stands looking incredulous.
At the other end Paraguay kept its nerve after Edgar Barreto dragged his shot wide left. Marcelo Estagarribia and Cristian Riveros converted their penalties. Up stepped Fred charged with the onerous task of keeping Brazil’s hopes alive as anxiety mounted with every passing moment. His body hunched over in tension the veteran broke a long run up with a series of stutter steps and launched the ball wide off the goal.
Villar was also outstanding in the previous 120 minutes – he had to be because the Brazilians were the far better team. He saved off Ganso who had a brilliant game and he also twice denied Pato and Neymar.
The US women can testify it is a cruel sport as their penalty shootout loss to Japan proves- its not always the better team that ends up winning.