Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus was sent off after hitting Chile’s Eugenio Mena with a flying kick in the 48th minute of Copa America quarter-final at Estadio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.
Defending champions Brazil advanced to the semi-finals with a 1-0 win after substitute Lucas Paqueta scored the only goal of the match.
Paqueta’s winner to the left corner of Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in the 46th minute gave Brazil fans some hope that the Selecao would ease into the next stage.
But only two minutes later, Jesus was sent off after hitting Chile’s Eugenio Mena with a flying kick.
RED CARD FOR JESUS 🟥
Gabriel Jesus gets sent off with the ugly challenge. pic.twitter.com/nLpxuE8uDb
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 3, 2021
Neymar and Brazil coach Tite said after the match that Jesus did not see Mena and accidentally kicked him as he tried to recover possession in the midfield.
“Defending well is a characteristic of ours,” Brazil’s Thiago Silva said. “Regardless of what we did today we concede few goals. Ever down to 10 we created clear opportunities. I am very proud of this team, for its fighting spirit.”
Paqueta replaced Roberto Firmino after a tense first half with few opportunities for both sides.
An exhausted Neymar said after the match that playing with 10 men was a great test for Brazil.
“Every match we need to get some tests to make us stronger, show we can do it in every circumstance,” Neymar said. “We had to stand together. It was very hard to do it.”
Chile’s Arturo Vidal said his team will leave the tournament with some pride.
“We lost to a great team, a favourite which is playing at home,” he said. “If we play like we played today, with some more time to work, this team will clearly have its intensity back. We hope to qualify to the World Cup. It will be hard, but we can.”
Peru advanced to the semi-final after beating Paraguay 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 score in regular time.
Brazil and Peru played the latest Copa America final in 2019, with the hosts winning 3-1. Jesus was also sent off in that match at Rio’s Maracana Stadium.