Neymar converted the decisive kick as hosts Brazil edged a pulsating FIFA World Cup last-16 meeting with Chile 3-2 on penalties.
Roared on by a partisan home crowd as spot-kicks were required to settle Saturday’s electric battle of the two South American nations following a 1-1 draw, the men in yellow kept their cool.
Having dusted themselves off having been just a few centimetres from elimination when Mauricio Pinilla rattled the crossbar in the final minute of extra-time at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil progressed to the quarter-finals as Julio Cesar saved two penalties before Gonzalo Jara crucially hit the post to send Brazil through.
Earlier, Alexis Sanchez had cancelled out Brazil’s 18th-minute opener, which was officially credited to David Luiz but appeared to come off Jara on its way into the net.
Such debate hardly seemed important though, especially when the hosts – much to the dismay of their adoring public – were denied a second goal when handball was given against Hulk as he controlled to set up a fine volley.
But the scrutiny over that decision was reduced significantly as Brazil ultimately prevailed to set-up an all-CONMEBOL last-eight meeting with the winners of Saturday’s second clash between Colombia and Uruguay.
Any thoughts that a highly-charged atmosphere would simmer after the spine-tingling national anthems were quickly dispelled, as Fernandinho – starting in midfield in place of the much-maligned Paulinho – crunched into an early challenge.
Perhaps concluding that there was already enough yellow on show in the stadium, referee Howard Webb rightly kept his cards in his pocket.