Centimetres. That is what sent Brazil through to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals at Chile’s expense.
Willian and Hulk had already missed penalties in the shootout, but when Neymar converted A Seleção’s fifth, it left Gonzalo Jara needing to score to take it to sudden death. The club-less defender nevertheless saw his effort fizz back off the post. Jara cried. The Mineirao exploded.
Brazil and Chile will meet for the second time since – Roberto Firmino’s unanswered goal secured Dunga’s team victory in a London friendly in March – on Thursday as they begin their bids to reach Russia 2018.
Chile will be seeking their first win over Brazil in 15 matches and 15 years, since Ivan ‘Bam Bam’ Zamorano and Marcelo ‘El Matador’ Salas inspired a 3-0 success in Santiago in 2000. A Seleção’s talisman, Neymar, is suspended, however, while La Roja’s Alexis Sanchez has netted six goals in his last three games for Arsenal.
Will Chile end the drought?