Brazil enters Copa final

Brazil beat Uruguay in the second semi final of the Copa America 2004.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Goalkeeper Julio Cesar blocked Vicente Sanchez and Brazil beat Uruguay 5-3 on penalties 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 equalised less than a minute into the second half. Argentina ousted defending champion Colombia 3-0 on Tuesday. The final is on Sunday. Uruguay will play Colombia for third place on Saturday. Match time level 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. 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 coach Jorge 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 setup at midfield. Silva nearly opened the scoring just a minute into the match when his shot from close range was stopped by Cesar. In the fourth during a Brazilian break, Adriano's shot from inside the box was saved by Viera. On the rebound, Kleberson - the only member of Brazil's 2002 World Cup champions - fired a high shot that was again stopped by Viera. Missed chances Silva missed an incredible chance in the 12th when he failed to find the open net from just a couple of meters away. Midfielder Carlos Diogo headed the ball toward the goal and caught Cesar out of the goal mouth, giving Silva a chance to just tap it in. But the striker's stretched-out shot flew hard into the crossbar. Sosa then scored from inside the box after a low free kick cross by Delgado from the left. Sosa had to go down nearly to his knees to send the ball past a diving Cesar. Brazil grabbed control after the goal, but Uruguay kept threatening on counterattacks. Sosa nearly scored again in the 34th with a header that sailed over the net. Then Delgado's skidding free kick from about 20 meters in the 40th was saved by Cesar. Brazil came close in the 45th when Viera had to use his fingertips to deflect 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 before finding the net from about six meters - his tournament-leading sixth goal. Alex almost scored Brazil's go-ahead goal just four minutes later, but his shot from the top of the box was saved by Viera. Sosa had a powerful right-footer go over the crossbar in the 58th, and another Delgado free kick missed high in the 73rd. Adriano came close with a hard free-kick that failed to reach the target in the 77th, and Silva had an opportunity when his shot from inside the area was blocked by defender Juan in the 80th. Fabiano had the last scoring chance when he received a pass from midfielder Alex inside the area in the 89th, but he couldn't get a clear shot off. Penalty shootout The result in regulation kept alive Uruguay's four-game unbeaten streak against Brazil. The five-time world champions haven't beaten the Celeste since the 1999 Copa America final, when Brazil lifted its sixth and last title in the South American tournament. In their last meeting, Uruguay - which was seeking its record 15th Copa title - had stunned Brazil with a 3-3 away draw in Curitiba in the World Cup qualifiers in November. It was the seventh draw overall in 25 matches. Each nation has won nine times. Fossati could not count on Schalke defender Gustavo Varela, who had been sent off in the 3-1 win against Paraguay in the quarterfinals. Team captain and Juventus defender Paolo Montero, who was nursing a stomach ailment, and Penarol defender Joe Bizera, who had a hurt ankle, recovered and were able to play. Brazil, on the other hand, was at full strength. Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira fielded the same team, which routed Mexico 4-0 in the quarters. (AP)