NEW PLYMOUTH, New Zealand (AP) — Brazil kept its hopes of a sixth Under-20 World Cup title alive by winning a penalty shootout after a heated South American stalemate with rival Uruguay in the round of 16 on Thursday.
The Brazilians overcame a tense encounter that featured 44 fouls and ended 0-0, winning 5-4 win on penalties at Stadium Taranaki.
Brazil took a remarkable 35 shots to Uruguay’s eight but still couldn’t find the net in 120 minutes of play. Brazil also had striker Judivan taken off midway through the second half with what looked like a serious injury.
Brazil set up a quarterfinal with Portugal, which secured a 2-1 win over New Zealand in Hamilton. The two sides will meet in Hamilton on Sunday.
Thursday’s match was billed as a showpiece of South American football and started at a frantic pace, with both sides determined to attack before rain slowed play down.
Brazil looked to capitalize on the ever-dampening conditions, and when Judivan skimmed his shot across the grass, Uruguayan goalkeeper Gaston Guruceaga struggled to contain the ball and had to push it wide as it dribbled toward goal. Brazil had 10 shots to Uruguay’s two in the first half but only one on target.
The simmering tension between the two sides boiled over at the interval as players got into a heated confrontation.
Uruguay captain Nahitan Nandez nearly stole the win in the final minute of regulation time, but his shot was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Jean.
In the shootout, Rodrigo Amoral missed Uruguay’s second penalty while Brazil made all five of their attempts.