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Copa America 2011: Brazil Defeats Ecuador 4-2; Sets Up Quarter Final with Paraguay

Neymar celebrates after scoring against Ecuador

Alexandre Pato and Neymar scored two goals each as defending champion Brazil hit form with a 4-2 win over Ecuador on Wednesday to secure a Copa America quarterfinals spot.

Pato scored with a header in the 28th minute before Felipe Caicedo profited from a Julio Cesar blunder to draw level in the 37th minute as they went into the half time 1-1. Neymar completed a beautiful Brazil move to make it 2-1 shortly after the break in the 48th minute before Caicedo once again came to the rescue of Ecuador ten minutes later with another superb goal.

But Pato tapped in his second goal of the match to ensure Ecuador were level for only a matter of minutes before the superb Neymar netted from inside the area in the 76th minute to ensure Brazil finish at the top of the group.

“It was the type of match we needed,” Pato said. “It was like a final to us and we had to win it no matter what. We did it and advanced in first place, which is what we wanted.”

Like the host Argentina, Brazil also came into their last Group match facing elimination after drawing their first two games against Venezuela and Paraguay. The Samba Boys needed a clear win to ensure their Quarter final berth though a draw would also keep their third consecutive title hope alive.

“It was our best performance in the tournament,” Brazil coach Mano Menezes said. “We are going to be facing Paraguay with the same respect we played them the first time. Now there is no time recover, we need to win against every opponent.”

Brazil ended with five points, equal with Venezuela but ahead on goal differential. Paraguay, which allowed two late goals in a draw with the Venezuelans earlier Wednesday, advanced with three points as the second best third-place teams in the three groups.

Ecuador however 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.

Brazil played better on Wednesday than in its previous two matches and controlled the action at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes. Ecuador didn’t make it easy, however, and threatened when it had the ball in attack, especially with Caicedo.

“We leave hurting a little,” Caicedo said. “We had the character to equalize two times, but we lacked focus at the end. We gave too many spaces to Brazil and that can’t happen.”

QUARTER FINALS

Q1Colombia vs Peru17/07/201112:30 AMCordoba
Q2Argentina vs Uruguay17/07/201103:45 AMSanta Fe
Q3Brazil vs Paraguay18/07/201112:30 AMLa Plata
Q4Chile vs Venezuela18/07/201103:45 AMSan Juan

SEMI FINALS

S1Winner Q1 –  Winner Q220/07/201106:15 AMLa Plata
S2Winner  Q3 – Winner Q421/07/201106:15 AMMendoza

3rd PLACE PLAYOFF

Loser S1 –  Loser S224/07/201112:30 AMLa Plata

FINAL

Winner S1 –  Winner S225/07/201112:30 AMBuenos Aires

* Timings are listed in IST.

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