Gabriel Jesus was pleased to bounce back in style by scoring the decisive spot-kick in Brazil’s penalty shoot-out win over Paraguay in the Copa America.
Jesus made amends for his miss against Peru last time out by firing in the winning spot-kick for Brazil. It proved to be a welcome relief for the hosts, who were dangerously close to suffering a shock quarter-final exit.
Despite his heroics from the spot, however, Jesus’ struggles to score in the Copa America continued in Porto Alegre.
The Manchester City striker started up front alongside Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, but simply couldn’t beat 10-man Paraguay’s defence.
The Selecao nearly took the lead twice, though, when Willian smashed the post before Paraguay keeper Roberto Fernandez pulled off a brilliant late save from Alex Sandro to take the tie into penalties.
But Fernandez’s Brazil counterpart Alisson Becker denied Gustavo Gomez’s opening spot-kick, with Derlis Gonzalez later missing another for Paraguay.
With the memory of his last spot-kick still fresh in his memory, a determined Jesus stepped up and smashed home the decisive penalty to secure Brazil a 4-3 victory.
“I couldn’t convert the penalty. I left annoyed, sad, p*ssed off with myself because I didn’t take it my way,” Jesus told SporTV.
“We all agreed I didn’t take it as I should have. I think I was a bit anxious.
“After [Brazil assistant coach] Clebinho watched, I said I was going to take it, I was confident. I took it my way and I scored.
“In the game before I didn’t look at the keeper and I went for goal. This time, looking at the keeper, calm, collected, I saw him moving for the left and sent it the other way.”
Brazil will meet either Argentina or Venezuela in the Copa America semi-finals.