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COPA AMERICA

Brazil holds on to defeat Uruguay

July 11, 2007|From Times Wire Services

MARACAIBO, VENEZUELA — Defending champion Brazil edged Uruguay, 5-4, in penalty kicks to reach the final of soccer's Copa America for the eighth time in the last 11 tournaments.

Goalkeeper Doni saved Diego Lugano's low shot to seal the victory after the teams were tied 2-2 during 90 minutes of regulation.

Pablo Garcia missed a chance to put Uruguay into the final at 4-4 in the shootout when he struck the inside of the right post and his shot bounced clear.

Brazil, seeking its fourth South American championship in five tournaments, advances to Sunday's final in Maracaibo where it will face the winner of today's match between Argentina and Mexico.

Maicon put Brazil ahead in the 13th minute before the match was halted for almost 14 minutes when a bank of the stadium's lights lost power.

Diego Forlan made it 1-1 in the fourth minute of first-half injury time and Julio Baptista restored Brazil's lead five minutes later, still in the extended first half. Sebastian Abreu tied the score by redirecting Forlan's header in the 70th minute.

With no overtime in the Copa America, the game went to penalty kicks and Brazil took the upper hand when Doni saved Uruguay's first attempt by Forlan.

Brazil's Afonso hit the left post and Cristian Rodriguez scored for Uruguay to make it 3-3.

After Brazil scored, Abreu, needing to score to keep Uruguay in the shootout, chipped the ball into the top of the net.

Brazil's Fernando then struck the same post as Afonso.

Garcia, knowing a goal would take Uruguay through, blasted his shot onto the inside of the right post and it caromed away.

Gilberto put Brazil up 5-4 and Doni dived to his left to block Lugano's shot to seal the victory.

Gilberto Silva, who scored in the shootout, will miss the final after collecting a second yellow card.

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