Brazil and Colombia staged a very entertaining quarterfinals match Friday. Brazil, however, paid a high price to move on.
Brazil’s 2-1 victory over James Rodriguez and the Colombian team saw Brazil’s top player, Neymar Jr., leave the game on a stretcher after receiving a knee into his back. X-rays later showed Neymar suffered a broken vertebrae, ending his World Cup tournament. Brazil’s captain, Thiago Silva, received a yellow card during the Colombian match, is now suspended for the semifinal game against Germany, who advanced on a 1-0 victory over France, according to the Independent website.
Brazil seemed to be playing with a bit more fire after their last game against Chile, which sat well with the host team’s fans, who felt the Brazilian team hadn’t been fired up for a while. Brazil was constantly pressuring David Ospina, the Colombian goalie. Brazil broke through in the seventh minute, with Silva taking a rebound and deftly popping the ball into the goal past Ospina. The Colombians nearly equalized in the 11th minute, but Juan Cuadrado’s attempt off of a poor clearing shot by Brazil sailed wide of the post.
Colombia seemed to take the role of Brazil on in this quarterfinal match, consistently making poor passes and unable to clear their zone more often than not. Though they had their chances, those opportunities were few and far between. Brazil effectively bottled Rodriguez, Colombia’s breakout star, making Colombia’s effort even harder.
Brazil extended their lead on a gorgeous free kick from David Luiz in the 69th minute. Luiz bowed the kick over the Colombian wall and into the upper right hand corner of the goal, just past an outstretched Ospina. Brazil really was never really challenged then, though the Colombians broke through on a penalty kick by Rodriguez, according to the SB Nation website. Brazilian goalie Julio Cesar illegally tackled Carlos Bacca in the box, giving Colombia the penalty kick, which Rodriguez easily put past Cesar to make the game 2-1. This means Rodriguez has scored a goal in each of the 5 games he played in this tournament, a claim no other player can make this year. But that was as close as the Colombians would get.
Now, Brazil gets ready for Tuesday’s semifinal match against Germany, a four-time World Cup champion, without their captain (Silva) and their best player (Neymar). Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari will have to work some host country magic to continue their run in this World Cup tournament.