Júlio César saves two penalties to guide Brazil into the quarterfinals

Júlio César celebrates after making his second penalty save against Chile on Monday at Belo Horizonte.NDTV Sports

Júlio César celebrates after making his second penalty save against Chile on Monday at Belo Horizonte.

Round of 16

The game was tied 1-1 at the end of 120 minutes of regulation and extra time, and it went down to penalty kicks, where Brazil would end up beating Chile in dramatic fashion 3-2. 

Byline: Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief

BELO HORIZONTE– César would redeem himself from Chile’s first goal, by making two save in the penalty shoot outs to stun fellow South American rivals Chile and keep the Brazilian dream alive for one more game.

“That [faith] was what kept me calm. It made it easier for me to do a good job,” The Toronto FC goalkeeper told FIFA.com after the game. “I can understand the doubters though: when you’re not playing, there are always going to be question marks.”

After Brazilian defender David Luiz scored his penalty kick, by sending the a powerful shot to the bottom left hand corner of the net. He gave Brazil a 1-0 lead. Chilean forward Mauricio Pinilla stepped up and was attempting to tie the game, Pinilla took two big steps towards the ball, and took a powerful shot right down the middle of the goal, but César was there to stop the powerful shot, and keep Chile at zero.

Substitute Brazilian midfielder Willian stepped up to take the second penalty, and give the Samba Kings a commending 2-0 lead with only three penalties left. However, the 25-year-old midfielder would do everything right except put the ball in the back of the net; he sent Chile’s goalie Claudio Bravo the wrong way, but he sent the ball just wide of the bottom left hand corner of the net. Giving Chile a chance to tie the penalties with their next kick.

Chile’s star forward Alexis Sánchez was up next. The Barcelona winger was the closest thing of a guarantee of making a penalty, but the powerful low shot he sent the bottom left hand corner of the net was denied by César. The TFC goalie pounced on the ball like a cat, and stopped the ball dead on its track from entering the net, Brazil will still up 1-0 after two pk’s from both teams.

Next up was Marcelo for Brazil, the Real Madrid left back had the chance to give his team a 2-0 lead. He blasted the ball down the middle and high, Bravo was able to get a hand on the ball, but the power behind the shot was too much and the ball sailed into the right hand corner of the net, giving Brazil a 2-0 lead after three pk’s.

Now Chile was forced to score, or else they could lose the game with the very next shot for Brazil. Midfielder Charles Aránguiz stepped up with all the pressure on his shoulder. However, the 25-year-old midfielder without any hesitation would take two steps towards the ball, and sent the ball to the top right corner of the net, giving César no chance, the score was now 2-1.

Brazil still had the upper hand, and if Hulk would make his penalty that would increase the lead to 3-1 and put Chile on the brink of elimination. However, he would send the ball down the middle and low, and in result Bravo legs would stop the ball from entering the net. Failing to capitalize on his opportunity, the game was still 2-1.

Another midfielder for Chile would step up, Marcelo Díaz would not be thrown off by Hulk’s previous miss and send the ball right down the middle of the goal, sending César the wrong way, the score was now tied 2-2 after four penalty kicks taken.

Entering the last round of penalty kicks for both teams, Neymar Jr. would step up to take the final penalty for Brazil. With a few stutter steps walking towards the ball, he was able to make Bravo freeze for a second and would take advantage and sent the ball tot the bottom left hand corner of the net, to give Brazil a 3-2 lead with the last Chile player stepping up to the plate.

Defender Gonzalo Jara would step up, looking nervous and anxious he blasted a penalty to the right hand corner of the net.  The ball beat César outstretched arm, but instead of entering the back of the net, the ball would ding of the post and Chile would lose the game, 3-2 in penalties.

“We knew when the draw was made we were going to be in for a tough time,” Brazil Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari told FIFA.com, after the game about penalty victory over Chile. “They’re a very organised team with a good tactical system and fine players. Every credit to Chile but this penalty shootout win says a lot about us and about our desire to progress.”

However, before the game reached penalties, the Samba Kings would take the lead at the 18 minute of the match, David Luiz would over power the Chile defender in the penalty box, to just make the slightest of contact with the ball to score the opening goal of the game to make the score 1-0, and also scoring his first goal for his nation.

Chile did not stay quiet after going down. Also Brazil defense fall asleep, Hulk received a throw in from Marcelo from the left hand side of the field. Hulk attempted to pass the ball back to Marcelo, but the pass would be cut off, the Chilean player would then sent a pass to Sánchez, who just made a cutting run into the penalty box . The Barcelona winger would control the pass and than take an accurate shot to left hand corner of the net, a weak shot that the Brazilian goalie should have been able to get too, but instead the game was tied 1-1 at the 32 minute.

Regardless that both teams would be attacking till the very end of regulation time till penalties began, the game would end 1-1 and Brazil would pull through in penalties.

“We’ve got three more steps to go now,” The veteran Brazilian goalie told FIFA.com. “That’s my big dream.”

Brazil will now move on and face Colombia in the quarterfinals on Friday, July 4 at Fortaleza. As for Chile they will be heading home after their defeat against Brazil.

Highlights to this video can be seen on this link http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=intl:1919927, video provided by ESPN FC.

editorinchief@lavalleystar.com

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