Brazil Was This Close to Going Out of the World Cup

Slate's soccer blog.
June 28 2014 3:22 PM

The Woodwork Just Saved Brazil's World Cup. Twice.

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Life is unfair.

Juan Mabromata / AFP

Brazil beat Chile on penalties to advance to the quarterfinals at the World Cup on Saturday, but the hosts should feel incredibly grateful to have survived. The score after regulation and extra time was 1–1, but in the 120th minute of the game, Mauricio Pinilla dramatically struck the crossbar. Had Pinilla scored, it almost certainly would have won the game for Chile.

Then, after exchanging two misses each in the penalty shootout, it all came down to defender Gonzalo Jara’s final attempt to keep Chile in the game. Again, the woodwork saved Brazil, as Jara’s shot hit the right post.

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Brazil moves on to face the winner of Saturday’s late match between Uruguay and Colombia in the next round.

Jeremy Stahl is a Slate senior editor. You can follow him on Twitter.