CORDOBA - Strikers
Alexandre Pato and Neymar scored two goals apiece as Brazil beat
Ecuador 4-2 to finish top of Group B at the Copa America on
Wednesday and set up a quarter-final against Paraguay.
The result left Venezuela with second place in the group and
a last-eight meeting with Group C winners Chile in San Juan. The
other quarter-finals pit hosts Argentina against Uruguay while
Colombia take on Peru.
Title-holders Brazil, winners of four of the last five
tournaments, have already shared a 2-2 draw in the group stage
with Paraguay, who qualified as one of the two best third-placed
teams along with Peru.
Ecuador bowed out of the tournament with two good goals from
Felipe Caicedo in an exciting match that capped a lively final
night for the South American tournament's group stage.
Venezuela earlier mounted a remarkable late comeback to
snatch a 3-3 draw against Paraguay in Salta.
After a dull opening half-hour, Brazil lit up the match at
the Mario Alberto Kempes stadium with a fine headed goal by Pato
from Andre Santos's left cross.
Eight minutes later, Brazil might have gone two goals up
when Robinho's shot from Maicon's right cross hit goalkeeper
Marcelo Elizaga's left-hand post.
Instead, down the other end less than a minute later, big
striker Caicedo found space to shoot from the edge of the box
and the ball squeezed in under goalkeeper Julio Cesar for the
Ecuador could have gone ahead in first half stoppage-time
but for the Brazil goalkeeper's diving save from a curling,
left-footed shot from the right by Michael Arroyo.
Brazil regained the lead four minutes into the second half
when Paulo Henrique Ganso took a ball with his back to goal,
turned and slotted it through to Neymar who scored in the top
Caicedo hit his second equaliser just before the hour when
Christian Noboa won the ball in midfield and set the striker up
to shoot low past Julio Cesar.
Pato put Brazil ahead again within two minutes, netting the
rebound after Elizaga parried a shot from Neymar, who then made
it four for Brazil in the 72nd by turning in Maicon's low cross.
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