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Copa America: Brazil 2-2 Paraguay

Fred's late goal sparked wild celebrations among the Brazil players and coaching staff
Mowa Sports
A late goal from substitute Fred earned Brazil a point against Paraguay in the Copa America.

Paraguay started the game on top and almost went ahead through Roque Santa Cruz, who fired just over from six yards. Brazil began to get into the game more and had a decent chance themselves when Alexandre Pato was denied by a good save from Justo Villar.


The Seleção opened the scoring after 40 minutes. Jadson had been the surprise name in the starting line-up, but he fired in a brilliant 20-yard shot past Villar to justify his place in the team and give Brazil their first goal of the tournament.


Brazil ended the half 1-0 up, and Jadson was replaced at half-time by Elano, having already been booked. But ten minutes into the second half Mano Menezes' side suffered a setback when Santa Cruz was left unmarked in the box to score the equaliser on 55'.


Neymar, who was poor all night and struggled to have any impact, missed a chance to put his side back in front when he was denied by Villar, and Paraguay made him pay instantly.


They charged up-field on the counter-attack, and Nelson Valdez was, like Santa Cruz had also been, left alone in the box with an opportunity. His first effort was saved by Julio Cesar, but Valdez headed in the rebound to give Paraguay the lead with 67 minutes gone.


Neymar was substituted to a chorus of boos, with Fred coming on in his place. Lucas Moura also came on for Ramires, but it seemed that Brazil were to crash to a catastrophic defeat that would leave them on the brink of elimination.


Then, in the final minute of the 90, Fred received a pass from Ganso and fired in from the edge of the penalty area to put Brazil level. They may not have got the win they desired, but Menezes' players will be in a buoyant mood thanks to their late leveller.


Now it looks like victory against Ecuador will be a necessity for Brazil. It has not been an easy ride so far, but their destiny is still in their own hands. There were finally some goals to celebrate; now Brazil need to register a win.


Brazil's crucial final game of the group stage against Ecuador takes place on Wednesday, July 13. Keep checking back at Sambafoot for reaction to the Paraguay match and build up to the Ecuador clash.


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