Defending champs Brazil eke out draw | sports | Hindustan Times
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Defending champs Brazil eke out draw

sports Updated: Jul 10, 2011 22:47 IST

Substitute Fred struck in a last-minute equaliser to give holders Brazil a 2-2 draw with Paraguay before unfancied Venezuela upset Ecuador 1-0 to go top of Group B at the Copa America on Saturday.

Midfielder Cesar Gonzalez scored the goal that stunned Ecuador and put Venezuela two points clear of Brazil and Paraguay with one match to go in their group.

Brazil, for whom playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso laid on both goals with similar defence-splitting passes, took the lead six minutes before halftime at the Mario Alberto Kempes stadium in Cordoba.

Midfielder Ramires fed Ganso, who touched the ball perfectly through to Jadson who shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Roque Santa Cruz equalised 11 minutes after the interval when the Brazilian defence failed to clear Marcelo Estigarribia's cross from the left into the middle of the box and the striker shot into the bottom corner past Julio Cesar.

Paraguay went ahead 12 minutes later when Estigarribia robbed Daniel Alves on the left of the area and squared to the middle where substitute Nelson Haedo Valdez's shot came off Lucio but he put it away at the second attempt.

Brazil drew parity when striker Fred took a through pass into the box from Ganso and fired low past goalkeeper Justo Villar.

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino said he was pleased with the progress shown by his team since they reached the last eight at the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter vows to punish match-fixers
Pachuca, Mexico: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has vowed a life ban for any players, coaches or referees implicated in match fixing or irregular betting.

"The solution we have is to suspend all these people for life, whether they be players, coaches or referees," said Blatter, speaking as the under-17 World Cup came to a close here on Sunday. FIFA security head Chris Eaton has this week been investigating a possible fixed match in El Salvador, one of Mexico's central American neighbours.

"It's very worrying for FIFA, the various reports we've received and continue to receive on both illegal betting and fixed matches," Blatter said.

Indian arrows officially unveiled
Kolkata: The All India Football Federation on Sunday officially signed a sponsorship deal with Pailan World Group for its U-23 I-League team Indian Arrows. Under the five-year deal, Pailan Group will sponsor Indian Arrows - formed last year- to prepare the national team for the 2018 World Cup.