By FRANCO PANIZO
12 combined goals, a last-second comeback and an assist from a goalkeeper.
Those were just some of the highlights on an eventful Wednesday night as group play in the Copa America came to a close. Brazil took first place in Group B and eliminated Ecuador with a 4-2 triumph over La Tri, while Venezuela scored two goals in the final three minutes of its thrilling match against Paraguay to earn a 3-3 draw.
Having tied in its two previous games, Brazil recorded its first win of the tournament in a game that saw three players grab braces. Alexandre Pato and Neymar each netted twice as Brazil finished group play on top with five points and a +2 goal differential (outdoing second-place Venezuela on five points and +1 goal differential). Felipe Caicedo scored both of Ecuador's goals, but he couldn't stop his country from finishing in fourth place on 1 point.
In the first game of the night, Venezuela jumped out to a 1-0 lead through a Jose Rondon goal after just five minutes . But Paraguay responded with three goals, the last of which came in the 86th when Christian Riveros headed home a free kick.
Then disaster struck for the Paraguayans as Venezuela was able to rally with goals in the 90th and 92nd minutes. Nicolas Fedor started the late comeback with a right-footed shot inside the penalty area. That was followed by a corner kick in stoppage time that was headed down by Venezuela goalkeeper Renny Vega to Grenddy Perozo, who headed the ball over the goal line for the draw.
The result left Paraguay in third place on three points, but it advanced to the quarterfinals on goal differential over Costa Rica.
Here are all the quarterfinal match-ups as well as highlights from both of Wednesday's games:
Colombia vs. Peru
Argentina vs. Uruguay
Brazil vs. Paraguay
Chile vs. Venezuela
BRAZIL 4, ECUADOR 2
VENEZUELA 3, PARAGUAY 3
What did you think of Brazil's first win of the tournament? Think the Selecao has turned things around? More impressed by Vega's assist and Venezuela's comeback against Paraguay? Which quarterfinal match are you most looking forward to?
Share your thoughts below.