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Rediff.com  » Sports » Brazil edge out Uruguay in semis

Brazil edge out Uruguay in semis

July 22, 2004 10:55 IST

World champions Brazil set up a Copa America final against arch-rivals Argentina by beating Uruguay on penalties following a 1-1 draw in their semi-final in Lima, Peru on Wednesday.

Uruguay dominated the first half and stunned the world champions by taking a 22nd minute lead with a Marcelo Sosa header.

Brazil forward Adriano equalised two minutes into the second half with his sixth goal of the tournament in a game witnessed by a disappointing crowd of around 15,000, local interest having diminished after host Peru's quarter-finals exit.

Brazil, who have reached the final despite resting top players such as Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, then converted all five of their penalties while goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved Vicente Sanchez's fourth attempt for Uruguay.

Uruguay made a lively start and nearly went ahead in the second minute when Dario Silva was given a clear run on goal but shot straight at goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Silva was again the culprit 11 minutes later when he contrived to miss an open goal from point-blank range, somehow turning Carlos Diogo's header onto the crossbar when it seemed impossible to miss.

Uruguay, however, took the lead when Javier Delgado floated over a free kick from the left and midfielder Sosa, known as "The Duck", stooped to head the ball past Julio Cesar.

Sosa and Delgado both came close to increasing Uruguay's lead before halftime, the latter seeing his swerving free kick turned away by Julio Cesar.

Uruguay goalkeeper Sebastian Viera made two good first half saves, punching over Kleberson's drive early on and then turning away a cunning Edu chip in injury time.

Brazil emerged in a different frame of mind after halftime and levelled almost straight away when Alex set Luis Fabiano away on the right and his low shot was turned in from close range by Adriano.

The scorer threatened with two left-foot shots in the next three minutes as Brazil threatened to take control.

The game lost momentum before bursting back into life in the final five minutes, when Luis Fabiano was agonisingly close for Brazil and Maicon was denied by Viera.

At the end, Silva had another good chance but his shot was blocked by Juan.

Brian Homewood
Source:
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