World Cup 2014: Brazil v Colombia

BRA 2 – 1 COL: The dream is over for a colourful and exciting Colombia who have endeared themselves to all after their performances throughout this World Cup. They lacked the explosive start to the game that had become their trademark so far in the tournament, and when they needed a little bit of luck from the officials it was not to come. Brazil were much improved from their recent performances in the first half and fully deserved their lead at half time, and it could have arguably been more after a scintillating opening period. Thiago Silva just about got enough on the ball to steer a corner into the Colombia net to put the hosts ahead in the frenetic buzz of the Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza. Both Hulk and Neymar had good chances to extend their lead but Ospina in the Colombia goal was inspired. The second half was a more competitive affair, and the game could have been so different if events over a couple of minutes had been judged correctly. A dangerous ball into the Brazil box caused havoc and after a scramble Armero fired the ball into the net. However the linesman flagged for a foul against Colombia which was extremely harsh in my book and Brazil were let off the hook. Moments later, an astonishing free kick from David Luiz, who swerved a thirty-five yard strike into the corner of the Colombia goal to rapturous applause, seemed to put Colombia out of sight. However, they showed tremendous character to fight their way back into the game. And it was the hero of this tournament who made it happen. A clever through ball from James Rodriguez found Carlos Bacca who was felled in the box by the onrushing Julio Cesar. Rodriguez cooly slotted the ball past the Brazilian keeper from the spot to set up a nervy finale. Colombia kept coming but time ran out and Brazil progress to the semi-finals and play Germany. Worryingly for Brazilians, Neymar was stretchered off towards the end of the game but I expect he had just had enough of what was a terrific battle between two sides who carried the weight of their country’s hopes and dreams. The emotions poured out at the end, and none more so than from Colombian starlet James Rodriguez who was inconsolable at the end. A touch of class from David Luiz who comforted the young Colombian and encouraged the crowd to show him respect and support. It was a nice moment and a fitting note to end on. Brazil march on and Colombia exit in triumph also. It is quite clear the world has not yet seen the last of James Rodriguez.

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