Good morning and welcome to Sports Mole
's live commentary of the Copa America
quarter-final between Brazil
from Porto Alegre. Brazil booked their spot in the final eight as Group A winners after collecting seven points from their three matches against Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. Paraguay, meanwhile, qualified for the last eight as one of the best third-placed finishers. Stay tuned!
BRAZIL: Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Luis; Allan, Arthur; Everton, Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus; Firmino
PARAGUAY: Fernandez; Piris, Gomez, Balbuena, Alonso, Arzamendia; Gonzalez, Sanchez, Ortiz, Perez; Almiron
Brazil boss Tite has made one change to the team that started the 5-0 win over Peru last time out, with Allan coming in for the suspended Casemiro. As a result, Richarlison and David Neres both stay on the bench with Everton Soares and Gabriel Jesus starting out wide.
As for Paraguay, a switch to a 5-4-1 formation means that neither Oscar Cardozo or Federico Santander start in the final third, with Miguel Almiron seemingly given a free role at the tip of the attack. West Ham United's Fabian Balbuena starts at the heart of the Paraguay defence, while Hernan Perez is also included. Kickoff in this last-eight tie is now just moments away!
Here we go then - the national anthems have been sung, the pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. We are moments away from kickoff!
KICKOFF: Brazil kick things off in this quarter-final tie...
... not quite a full house inside the stadium, but there is an excellent atmosphere. As expected, Brazil have taken control of the possession in the first couple of minutes here.
SHOT! Ortiz has the game's first shot from distance, but his effort was always wide.
Paraguay, as expected, are in a back five tonight, while Brazil are in a 4-2-3-1 with Coutinho playing just behind Firmino in a central position. You do get the feeling that Paraguay's gameplan is based on keeping the score goalless for a long period, but that is easier said than done.
SAVE! Smart save from Fernandez to keep out a strike from Firmino. The Paraguay goalkeeper then keeps out a long-range effort from Allan as Brazil have a couple of attempts.
Gabriel Jesus looks to have a shooting chance inside the Paraguay box after knocking Alonso off the ball, but the referee blows his whistle for a free kick. Still goalless here.
Coutinho finds some space in a dangerous position and looks to pick a pass into Firmino, but Balbuena is across to make the clearance. The Selecao remain on the front foot here.
Almiron dances past a couple of challenges before going down under a tackle from Alves, but the referee waves play on and Brazil can break - Everton is down the left, but Piris does well to make the challenge. End-to-end football in the last couple of minutes here.
Pass, pass, pass from Brazil as they look to work some space in the final third, but Paraguay are so tight at the back. Not an awful lot for the host nation to work with at the moment.
Still all Brazil in terms of possession but not too much to report in the way of chances at the moment. Paraguay, meanwhile, are not offering too much in the final third of the field.
Just a reminder that Brazil are without Casemiro for this match through suspension, which opened the door for Allan to start. Paraguay, meanwhile, switched to a back five for this game.
Very, very, scrappy game at the moment with the referee forced to intervene on a number of occasions. Still no bookings, though, as the first period continues to gather pace. Goalless.
Gabriel Jesus goes down inside the Paraguay box under a challenge from Alonso, but the referee is not interested. Brazil are forcing the issue with 20 minutes on the clock here.
Firmino is fed inside the Paraguay box by Coutinho, but Balbuena comes across to make the clearance. Paraguay have defended very well in the first 22 minutes of this football match.
It is the type of game that Paraguay would have wanted. Brazil are having lots of the ball but are struggling to create chances. There has just been a stoppage, meanwhile, so the referee can have his microphone adjusted, which is about the extent of the excitement at the moment.
Gonzalez delivers a dangerous cross into the Brazil box, but Thiago Silva is on hand to make the clearance. Paraguay need to make sure that they are carrying a threat here.
Paraguay threaten once again as Perez delivers a corner, but Thiago Silva clears towards Everton. This is easily Paraguay's best period of the match in terms of an attacking threat.
CHANCE! Huge chance for Paraguay as Gonzalez finds himself free at the far post, but a mixture of Alisson and the post manage to keep the ball out of the back of the net!
YELLOW CARD! Arzamendia (Paraguay) is booked for a poor challenge on Alves.
Brazil are struggling to get going at the moment as Paraguay continue to enjoy good possession and positive moments in the final third. The home fans are getting restless here.
YELLOW CARD! Piris (Paraguay) is booked for bringing Gabriel Jesus down.
Little under 10 minutes of the first period remaining and we are still goalless. Brazil have had more of the ball, but Paraguay have had easily the best chance of the contest thus far.
YELLOW CARD! Alonso (Paraguay) is booked for a foul on Gabriel Jesus.
Little over five minutes of the first period remaining and to be honest, it has not been the best game. Chances have been few and far between and there have been so many stoppages here.
Everton delivers a dangerous cross into the Paraguay box, but Balbuena is on hand to make the clearance. Everton has not been too heavily involved in this first half of action.
Alves breaks down the right before delivering a dangerous cross towards Firmino, but Alonso is on hand to make the clearance. Still goalless with 43 minutes on the clock in this last-eight tie.
A very late offside flag brings Brazil's latest attack to a close and Paraguay are almost there in terms of the first half. Brazil really, really must improve in the second half of action.
YELLOW CARD! Luis (Brazil) is booked for a foul on Gonzalez.
We are into the first of two added minutes at the end of the first period here.
HALF TIME: BRAZIL 0-0 PARAGUAY
So there we have it - the referee brings the first period to a close with the score level at 0-0. To be brutally honest, it has not been great. Brazil promised much following their five-goal showing against Peru, but it has been a disappointing first-half performance from the Selecao.
STATISTICS! Brazil had 67% of the possession in the first period, while they hit the target with three of their five attempts. Paraguay, meanwhile, managed one shot on target from their three attempts. Four yellow cards were issued in the first half, with Arzamendia, Piris and Alonso in the book for Paraguay and Luis carded for Brazil, who must improve in the second 45 minutes.
BENCH WATCH! Paraguay boss Berizzo has a number of attacking options on his bench here, with the likes of Cardozo, Iturbe and Santander all capable of making a difference in the second period. Brazil, meanwhile, could call upon the likes of Willian, Neres and Fagner.
KICKOFF: Paraguay resume the action here...
... BRAZIL SUB! Alex Sandro has replaced Luis for the Selecao.
YELLOW CARD! Firmino (Brazil) is booked for a foul on Ortiz.
You do get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - will be crucial. If Brazil can make the breakthrough then Paraguay might well have to change their current formation.
Not too much to report in terms of attacking football early in the second period. Brazil are having more of the ball, but are still really struggling to create openings in the final third.
SAVE! Comfortable save for Fernandez to keep out a strike from Coutinho.
SHOT! Coutinho is seeing more of the ball for Brazil at the moment and that is concerning Paraguay. Both Gabriel Jesus and Firmino have just tried to gather the ball inside the penalty box, but it runs away from both of them. The tempo is definitely rising, though, as Arthur strikes over.
PENALTY! Brazil have a penalty as Firmino goes down inside the box under a tackle from Balbuena!
The referee does not seem so sure now and VAR are going to have a look at it!
The referee is going to have a look at the screen. Drama, drama, drama.
RED CARD! BALBUENA!
The referee comes over and produces a red card for Balbuena, but there is no penalty, rather a free kick just outside the box. Well, that took longer than it should have, but we have a decision.
CLOSE! Alves sees his free kick just miss the post!
PARAGUAY SUB! Valdez replaces Arzamendia for Paraguay here.
Plenty of drama early in the second period, but somehow the score is still level. I would be surprised if that was the case for the next 30 minutes, though, as Paraguay are down to 10 men.
The challenge from Balbuena on Firmino...
Richard Sanchez strikes a volley towards the Brazil goal, but Thiago Silva is on hand to make the block. Still goalless with little over 25 minutes of the second period remaining here.
All Brazil in terms of pressure at the moment and you do wonder whether a goal is coming. Paraguay are struggling to get out of their own half as the clock ticks on here.
Brazil are preparing to make their second change of the match with Willian receiving his final instructions. It will be very interesting to see who the Chelsea attacker replaces here.
SAVE! Smart save from Fernandez to keep out a strike from Arthur!
BRAZIL SUB! Willian replaces Allan in Brazil's second change of the match.
Willian bursts into life down the right, creating a yard of space before delivering, but Fernandez is on hand to make the claim. Still goalless with 73 minutes on the clock here.
CHANCE! Huge chance for Brazil as a cross falls for Gabriel Jesus inside the Paraguay box, but the attacker somehow misses the post from close range. What a chance!
PARAGUAY SUB! R Rojas replaces Perez for Paraguay.
CLOSE! Firmino nods a cross from Alves just wide of Paraguay's far post.
SHOT! Everton has a shot deflected behind for a corner as Brazil press and press here.
PARAGUAY SUB! Richard Sanchez is replaced by Escobar for Paraguay.
We have entered the final 10 minutes of football and the score is still goalless. Paraguay have had to ride their luck for long spells, but Brazil have been really poor in the final third here.
The ball runs away from Everton down the left as the clock continues to tick towards the 90th minute. You do get the feeling that there is a big chance left in this game, though.
YELLOW CARD! Arthur (Brazil) is booked for an elbow on Valdez.
BRAZIL SUB! Paqueta replaces Dani Alves for Brazil.
Paraguay have the chance to threaten from a free kick as the referee brings play back to where Arthur swung his elbow into Valdez, but Brazil manage to clear their lines. VAR has again played a huge role in tonight's match and it continues to divide opinion here.
Time is running out but there will be a healthy amount of added time here.
SAVE! Wonderful save from Fernandez to keep out a flicked header from Firmino!
Just a reminder that this will go straight to penalties if the score remains level.
OFF THE POST! Willian rattles the post for Brazil as the host nation come close to scoring once again. Paraguay have had to ride their luck in this second period that is for sure.
We are into the third of seven additional minutes and Brazil are so dominant here.
SHOT! Brazil crowd the Paraguayan box as another corner comes in, but Gomez manages to clear. Paraguay then break through Escobar, whose low strike is deflected wide of the post.
Time is almost up - penalties unless something dramatic happens late on.
SHOT! Super block from Gomez to deflect an Everton strike over the crossbar!
END OF 90 MINUTES: BRAZIL 0-0 PARAGUAY (MATCH HEADS FOR PENALTY SHOOTOUT)
Penalties it is then! Incredible drama!
Brazil really, really should have scored in the second period. It will now be up to those taking a penalty to hold their nerve for a spot in the semi-finals of the 2019 Copa America.
STATISTICS! Brazil had 23 attempts during the 90 minutes, with eight of those on target. Paraguay, meanwhile, hit the target with just one of their five attempts. It really would be some turn up if Paraguay managed to advance to the semi-finals at the host nation's expense.
Here we go then. Penalties for a spot in the semi-finals of the Copa America.
SAVE! Alisson is down to keep out Gomez's spot kick!
GOAL! Willian finds the back of the net to hand Brazil an early advantage.
GOAL! Almiron finds the back of the net to put Paraguay on the board here!
GOAL! Marquinhos nets for Brazil to make it two from two!
GOAL! Another goal for Paraguay as Valdez converts from the spot.
GOAL! Brazil continue their 100% record as Coutinho registers for 3-2.
GOAL! R Rojas finds the back of the net to keep Paraguay in the argument!
SHOT! Oh my word! Firmino sees his effort miss the goal!
SHOT! Disaster for Paraguay as Gonzalez misses the post!
GOAL! Gabriel Jesus finds the back of the net to win it for Brazil!
FULL TIME: BRAZIL 0-0 PARAGUAY (BRAZIL WIN 4-3 ON PENALTIES)
All over here! Firmino finds the back of the net to make it 4-3 to Brazil on penalties. Paraguay have lost in the cruelest of fashions and the host nation will be marching on to the final four. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!