Brazil's Fernandinho, left, fights for the ball with Chile's Mauricio Isla during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Brazil's Fernandinho, left, fights for the ball with Chile's Mauricio Isla during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Brazil's Neymar, front, is challenged by Chile's Francisco Silva during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Brazil's Neymar, front, is challenged by Chile's Francisco Silva during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Chile's Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel (17) look on as Chile's goalkeeper Claudio Bravo leaps to make a save during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Chile's Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel (17) look on as Chile's goalkeeper Claudio Bravo leaps to make a save during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Brazil's Hulk looks back as his goal is disallowed for being a handball during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Brazil's Hulk looks back as his goal is disallowed for being a handball during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Brazil's Neymar reacts during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Brazil's Neymar reacts during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Brazil advanced to the quarter-finals of the World Cup after holding their nerve to down Chile on penalties.

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar was the hero, saving twice in the shoot-out before Chile defender Gonzalo Jara's final spot-kick crashed off the woodwork to hand the World Cup hosts a 3-2 win.

The shoot-out drama unfolded after a pulsating game at Belo Horizonte's Mineirao Stadium after 120 minutes of normal and extra-time ended with the South American rivals locked at 1-1.

Brazil, roared on by their partisan support, started strongly, taking the lead through a goal credited to David Luiz after 18

minutes.

Neymar swung a corner in from the left and the Paris Saint-Germain defender rose to turn the ball into the net although replays showed it was helped on by Chile defender Gonzalo Jara.

But Chile came roaring back and equalised after 32 minutes, Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez punishing slack play in the penalty area to slot past Julio Cesar.

A thrilling finale to extra-time almost saw Chile snatch a sensational victory when striker Mauricio Pinilla saw a shot crash back off the woodwork in the dying seconds with Cesar beaten.

Sapa-AFP