Belo Horizonte, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Brazil survived a major scare in the round of 16 on Saturday at the World Cup as the team topped Chile, 3-2, in penalty kicks after the two sides finished in a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes at the Estadio Mineiro.
David Luiz put Brazil in front 18 minutes into the game, but Chile leveled the contest through Alexis Sanchez in the 32nd.
Chile nearly won the game at the death when substitute Mauricio Pinilla fired a shot off the crossbar in the 120th minute, but the match was ultimately decided from the penalty spot.
Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved Chile's first two attempts, but La Roja stayed in the shootout until the fifth round, when Neymar scored for Brazil and Gonzalo Jara's attempt struck the post for Chile, sending the hosts to the quarterfinals.
The Selecao will now face Colombia in the quarterfinals on July 4 after Jose Pekerman's team downed Uruguay, 2-0, in the round of 16 on Saturday.
Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari voiced his concern about facing Chile prior to the match, and his fears were warranted as La Roja pushed his team to the brink over the course of 120 minutes.
"We knew when the draw was made we were going to be in for a tough time. They're a very organized team with a good tactical system and fine players. Every credit to Chile but this penalty shootout win says a lot about us and about our desire to progress," Scolari said. "The players can have a break now and, as they recover, we'll have a look at how we won, go through all the tricky situations we were in and a whole lot of other details. The idea is to build on this. When you win like this you come out stronger. We're going to tell them that so they can appreciate what they've done."
A corner kick in the 18th minute led to Brazil opening the scoring as Neymar's cross was flicked on to the back post by Thiago Silva for Luiz to turn home from close range for his first international goal.
But Chile struck back 14 minutes later when Eduardo Vargas cut out a pass deep in Brazil's end and pulled a ball back for Sanchez to fire home with a low shot.
Neymar had a header deflected just wide and Dani Alves forced a nice save from Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on a dipping effort from 30 yards.
Hulk thought he had given Brazil the lead in the 55th minute when he brought a ball down inside the area and sliced it inside the left post, only for referee Howard Webb to waive the goal off because he felt Hulk settled the ball with his arm.
Chile had a good bit of possession in the second half and put together a nice move in the 64th when a one-two between Mauricio Isla and Arturo Vidal set up a first-time shot for Charles Aranguiz that tested Cesar.
The hosts had a few chances in the last 15 minutes to win the match as Jo failed to redirect a dangerous cross from Hulk into the net from a few yards out, while Neymar sent a header straight at Bravo from a dangerous position.
Hulk then forced Bravo to make a diving stop with seven minutes to play after the forward danced past two defenders to get into a good position.
Brazil was asking most of the questions in extra time, but Chile nearly stole the match in the dying moments when Pinilla smashed a shot off the crossbar from the top of the box that surely had Brazilian hearts skipping a beat.
Cesar came up big in the shootout for Brazil by saving the first two attempts, from Pinilla and Sanchez, but the hosts failed to take advantage as Willian missed the target and Hulk had his shot saved by the legs of Bravo.
The shootout was tied 2-2 entering the final round, and Neymar came up big on his attempt by sending Bravo the wrong way, while Jara's effort struck the inside of the right post and caromed out, allowing Brazil to breathe a huge sigh of relief.
"I'm not happy. We gave everything we had and we were up against a whole stadium, against the hosts and we didn't go through. Our players made history and they did their country proud," Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said. "We had possession of the ball, we put in a lot of effort, we took more risks and we fought till the end. If that shot hadn't hit the bar, then everything might have been different. But it wasn't. I hope that the pain that we're feeling right now becomes something else in the future. With time we'll look at it differently and we'll come to appreciate what this team has done."