Brazil 1 Chile 1 (Brazil win 3-2 on penalties): Match highlights and what the result means
Published on Jun 29, 2014 4:59 AM
The Harlem Globetrotters of football, the soul of The Beautiful Game, the players with samba at their feet. But it could well have been England in canary yellow shirts.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's team needed a penalty shoot-out to finally get rid of Chile in the last 16 and wobble into the quarter-finals after both sides were locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes that had plenty of meaty challenges but little sexy football.
On the other hand, one has to feel for Chile. Jorge Sampaoli's men battled all the way and had the hosts struggling to cope with their high-tempo pressing game. They will leave the World Cup with plenty of credit.
- David Luiz bundled the ball across the line at the far post in the 18th minute after Thiago Silva flicked on Neymar's inswinging corner.
- But as Hulk cushioned a back pass towards Marcelo in the 32nd min, both players fell asleep, allowing Eduardo Vargas to steal the ball and pass it on for Alexis Sanchez to drill into the bottom corner.
- The match descended into a scrap, with a whopping total of 51 fouls committed.
- Hulk trapped a high ball before placing it beyond goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in the 55th min but English referee Howard Webb disallowed it for handball. Replays showed that the ball did come into contact with the Brazilian's bicep but it was not deliberate and does not deserve a booking.
- Substitute striker Mauricio Pinilla nearly broke Brazil's hearts in the 120th min when he left Thiago Silva for dead and blasted an unstoppable shot against the bar.
- The match went to penalties. Luiz, Marcelo and Neymar found the net but Hulk and Willian missed.
- But Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar turned hero when he saved from Pinilla and Sanchez and Gonzalo Jara smacked the post to send the hosts through to the quarter-finals.
Luis Gustavo vs Arturo Vidal
It is the moustache versus the mohawk. But look beyond the hair and you can see a gripping midfield battle between two men who bring balance to their sides.
Brazil had struggled until Scolari plugged his midfield during last year's Confederations Cup with enforcer Gustavo, who win possession and keeps his team ticking through his simple, accurate distribution. Vidal has made a name for himself with those surging runs from deep.
And just like the match after 120 minutes, it was a draw between these two midfield powerhouses. Gustavo got his second booking of the tournament and will miss the quarter-finals. An exhausted Vidal was substituted in the 87th min after giving his all.
Man of the Match
In such desperate times, Brazil needed a superhero and nearly found one in Hulk.
Although he didn't score and he did miss a penalty, the 27-year-old forward, was one of the few men in yellow shirts who never stopped trying on a day where colleagues Oscar, Fred and Jo all went Awol and Neymar was systematically dismembered by the Chilean team.
Hulk was partially guilty of Sanchez's equaliser but he more than made up for it with his thundering runs down the left. That's the spirit needed to lift the team and the home fans when the players no longer have that samba magic.
With Brazil looking suspect, the Selecao will need more of such performances from Hulk, and his team-mates to follow his example.
What the result means
For Chile, they head home as this World Cup's great "could have been" stories. The Chileans had 52 per cent possession, strung more passes (474 compared to Brazil's 425) and had a better passing accuracy (76 per cent compared to 73 per cent).
They can now look forward to the next Copa America, which they will host next year, with optimism and perhaps, an eye for a revenge over Brazil.
As for Scolari's team, they will go into Saturday's quarter-final in Fortaleza still shivering. Without Luiz's goal, Hulk's effort and a little magic from Neymar, the Selecao look unrelated to their brethren from 1958, 1962, 1970 and even the 1982 side that never won the World Cup.
To the connoiseurs, this is not Brazil. The team staggers, not swaggers. Horror of horrors, they pumped 69 long balls and committed 28 fouls when they got desperate. They are just waiting for a top quality opponent to brutally expose them.
The Brazilians are still spooked by 1950, when they lost 2-1 to Uruguay on home soil to hand them the world title. Alcides Ghiggia, the Uruguayan winger, scored the winner that fateful day at the Maracana.
Poetically, he still haunts Brazil. At 87, he is the only player still alive from either side which played in that final.
And if Scolari's men still don't wake up, they will have a new bogeyman to join Ghiggia.