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World Cup 2014

Brazil 2 Colombia 1: Highlights, key battle, and what this result means

Published on Jul 5, 2014 7:11 AM

For all the criticism that Brazil have yet to live up to their billing, and for all the praise lauded on Colombia for being the team of the tournament so far, this was where the tables were turned. Brazil showed up, played what is arguably their best attacking performance at the World Cup so far to win 2-1, while Colombia seemed overawed and tamed by the occasion of playing Brazil in Brazil. 

But it was the centrebacks that found the net for the Selecao, captain Thiago Silva slotting in from a corner kick, followed by a stunning freekick from David Luiz. James Rodriguez strengthened his case for Golden Boot, scoring his sixth goal in five games through a penalty, but ultimately ended the match in tears and bound for home.


Brazil's defender and captain Thiago Silva (right) reacts after scoring a goal during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 Fifa World Cup on July 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

- The match was blessed with tempo right from the beginning, Brazil captain Thiago Silva finding the opener after just seven minutes. The Colombian defence perhaps still yet unsettled, he manages to creep up untracked behind Carlos Sanchez, slotting in the ball from a corner kick from close range with ease.
Poor defending by the Colombians, who were crowding at the near post and failed to see Silva creeping in.

- The Los Cafeteros musters a few attacks attempts, so it would be unfair to say Colombia failed to respond to falling behind so early. But the game until the first half had been characterised mostly by tough tackles, many of them on Colombia's star player James Rodriguez, that went unpunished by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo of Spain.

It took 40 fouls before a first yellow was awarded around the 64th minute, and it's a costly one too. Thiago Silva booked after getting in the way of Colombian keeper David Ospina, and will miss his side's semi-final.

- Colombia have a goal disallowed in the 65th minute, but the offside flag was raised long before Colombia captain Mario Yepes found his way out of a tight scramble in the box to score.

- 69th min: David Luiz can now lay claim to one of the best free kicks of the tournament so far, firing a shot into the top right corner of the net. Ospina was never going to reach it.
James Rodriguez had conceded the free kick.

- Julio Cesar concedes a penalty and is booked after upending Carlos Bacca's run into the box. He could very well have seen red, though. James Rodriguez sends the keeper the wrong way and scores his sixth goal in five games.

- Neymar is kneed in the back by ZUniga, and looks to be in pain. Stretchered off.

Key Battle

Fernandinho v James Rodriguez

It became clear minutes into the game that James Rodriguez, the star of the tournament so far, had a target on his back. He was a marked man, on the receiving end of some rather hard knocks from Fernandinho.
Fernandinho had come on in place of the suspended Luis Gustavo, and while there were doubts about whether he could do a good enough job of containing Rodriguez and limiting his touches on the ball. Fernandinho got the job done - even if in an ugly manner.
Was very lucky to not have been booked.

Man of the Match

David Luiz

For great anticipation, and forming a solid partnership with Thiago Silva at the back. Also surged forward a lot, although that decision nearly backfired.

For the sheer quality of the free kick which many would have though unlikely to come from a sidefoot of a centreback, especially one who didn't score in his first 39 international games for Brazil, but with this goal has now found the net twice out of his last two outings. His shot, scored from 34 yards, is the second longest of this World Cup.

But also for the class he displayed after the match, consoling and encouraging a sobbing Rodriguez, getting the crowd to applaud the Colombian.

What this result means

Brazil make their first semi-final at the World Cup since 2002, although the result will also be remembered for the rough manner in which they got there. They will play Germany, who edged out France 1-0 for a spot in the last four.

But Neymar was reportedly taken to hospital after the match, and could be a doubt for the semi-final clash. Captain Thiago Silva is also suspended. The Selecao could face a much stiffer fight against Germany, who is much less likely to be overcome by the occasion, and will bring a bigger fight to the hosts.