GABRIEL JESUS fired Brazil into the Copa America semi-finals after they needed a shoot-out to overcome ten-man Paraguay.
The Manchester City star, who was last week confirmed as the club’s new No9, kept his cool to seal a 4-3 triumph following the goalless draw in Gremio.
Jesus made up for his penalty miss against Peru in the Samba Boys’ final group, and he admitted afterwards he had returned to his tried and trusted formula last night.
He said: “In the last game I didn’t look at the keeper and I hit it hard straight away and the goalie made a good save,” Jesus said.
“Today I did it my usual way, I looked calmly at the keeper and I could see him moving to the left and I side-footed it the other way.”
Hosts Brazil will now be looking to extend their 100 per cent record of winning every Copa America they have hosted after overcoming a tough Paraguay outfit.
A physical first half, which saw three of the visitors cautioned, ended without either nation have any real goalscoring opportunities.
But the introduction of Alex Sandro and Filipe Luis led to the five-time world champions taking control.
And Brazil thought they had an opportunity to win it when Roberto Firmino appewared to be fouled in the area by Fabian Balbuena.
However, a quick VAR check from the referee resulted in him changing his mind and instead awarding a free-kick just outside the box – although Balbuena was given his marching orders.
Dani Alves whistled the set-piece just wide as Brazil failed to find a breakthrough in the 90 minutes.
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And their frustrations continued to grow as did their dominance in extra-time as they were held to a stalemate, forcing them into a shoot-out lottery.
Firmino missed his effort but Willian, Marquinhos, Philippe Coutinho all slotted home before Derlis Gonzalez fluffed his lines for Paraguay.
And that allowed Jesus to be the matchwinner and move Brazil into the last four against the winners of tonight’s clash between Argentina and Venezuela.