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Soccer-Julio Cesar predicted he would be Brazil's hero - Thiago Silva

Reuters

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, June 28 (Reuters) - Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar told team mates he would be the hero in a tense penalty shootout that the World Cup hosts edged against Chile on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals, captain Thiago Silva said.

Julio Cesar saved efforts from Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez as Brazil won the shootout 3-2 after the last 16 match had ended 1-1 after extra time.

"Before the penalties Julio said, Hit them with confidence and I'll stop three," Thiago Silva said.

"It was preordained. Chile were a great team but we found strength. The most important thing is that the group is united, independent of any mistakes."

The penalties came after a tense match in which both teams had chances to win. Chile rattled the bar in the final seconds and Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo said that let off gave his team belief.

"A shot like that, you imagine lots of things, the dream of millions of Brazilians ending like that," he told Sportv. "But we drew strength from it, and now we know it will get harder and harder. We did it and we gave a little bit of joy to Brazilians."

Thiago Silva said the match, played in front of a passionate crowd at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, was a unique moment for Brazil's inexperienced side.

"We suffered, we know Chile would push us back and they deserve credit," he said. "We know they are very mobile and that made it hard for me and David (Luiz), especially him with his sore back. He was a warrior today, and that shows the strength and the unity we have."

"It is going to get harder," he added. "We have three games to realize our dreams and the dreams of Brazilians."

Brazil will face either Colombia or Uruguay in the last eight. (Writing by Andrew Downie; editing by Justin Palmer)

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