Brazil scraped into the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup after penalties were needed to see them past Uruguay after two goalless hours of action in New Plymouth.
A Seleção had the better of the game, missing a hatful of chances, but Uruguay defended valiantly, hurling bodies at the ball whenever necessary, and rendering a shootout necessary. Rodrigo Amaral fired over, and with no other penalty missed, the 5-4 scoreline sent the Brazilians into the last eight - and a mouth-watering meeting with Portugal.
There was plenty of energy from both sides, but it largely manifested itself in an intense battle between each penalty area, rather than within them. Gaston Pereiro was La Celesete's principle threat, setting up Jaime Baez to loop a header back across goal that was well claimed by Jean. The Nacional midfielder then combined with Franco Acosta only to see the on-rushing keeper thwart them again.
The closest there was to a goal came from a mistake from the usually reliable Gaston Guruceaga after Judivan's shot squirmed through his fingers. But with the ball rolling towards goal, he slid to comfortably collect it only for his momentum on the wet surface to almost carry him and the ball over the line.
The game opened up as it wore on but after the break it was Brazil calling the tune. Four minutes into the second period, Judivan and Boschilla both should have scored. The ball was cut back to the former, who saw his effort well blocked, before the latter took aim with the rebound amid a scramble, only for a combination of Guruceaga and Diego Poyet to stop it creeping over the line.
Gabriel Jesus was next to spurn a good opportunity before Danilo arguably missed the best of the bunch. Marcos Guilherme's corner was allowed to bounce in the six-yard box, but with the captain arriving at the back post he managed to scoop his volley over from three yards.
The defender then saw his cross smack the face of the bar as the yellow wave kept coming, but Uruguay stood firm to take it beyond 90 minutes, though Nahitan Nandez almost snatched a win in stoppage time. The tally of 25 shots to five in Brazil's favor at this stage, with Uruguay not earning a single corner, was an apt reflection of the pattern of play.
Uruguay improved but it was deja vu for Danilo as he missed another golden chance. This time a free-kick was headed down into his path but he was off-balance as he volleyed from the centre of goal and it flashed wide, leaving him punching the ground in frustration. Andreas Pereira then had an effort from 20 yards on target, but Guruceaga beat it away and a shoot-out was unavoidable.
There were some fine penalties on show when it did arrive, with neither goalkeeper keeping one out. That meant Amaral's miss was the only thing that separated the sides on the night as Gabriel Jesus stroked home the crucial spot-kick.