In the first match of the knockout stages in the 2014 World Cup, Brazil were able to get a nervy penalty shootout win over fellow South Americans Chile. The match was very even throughout the entire time up until the penalty shootout that yielded Brazil’s 3-2 victory. Both teams missed a host of chances in the second half and the score stayed 1-1 after 120 minutes, but the host nation was able to find victory in a very ugly shootout by both sides.
Host nation Brazil came into the match as the favorite, deservedly so, but Chile was never afraid of them. Early on, it was a nervy start for both teams as they were both visibly feeling the pressure to advance. With little rhythm yet to be shown by either team in the 18th minute, Brazil got on the score sheet first with a goal from a corner. David Luiz got credit for the goal but replays showed that it actually came off a Chilean defender into the top netting. Chile was able to look past the goal and showed that they could hang with Brazil. In the 32nd minute, Chile were able to get the equalizer after a horrible giveaway by Hulk in his own third that was calmly put away by Alexis Sanchez.
The second half saw both teams create great chances for themselves but failing to capitalize on them. In the 54th minute, Hulk had a goal disallowed after he brought a cross down with his shoulder. The entire Brazilian team was in disbelief as they all celebrated as though they had just gotten the go-ahead goal. Chile responded with a great opportunity in the 64th minute when a pullback ball found a man in the box, but the man of the match, Julio Cesar, superbly saved the shot. Even though Brazil may have created more concrete chances in the second half, Chile really dominated the pace and flow of the match. The last real chance of regulation came when new Barcelona man Claudio Bravo saved Hulk’s shot.
Extra time saw both teams tired and it showed in their play. Neither team created very many chances. That is until the 120th minute, when Mauricio Pinilla’s rocket of a shot bounced off the crossbar sending the match into a penalty shootout. The shootout was a very sloppy one for two teams of such great quality. There were only three goals from the first seven tries. Julio Cesar was great during the shootout and saved three of the five shots, even though Chile might have made him look good with some very poorly taken shots. As if scripted for the movies, Neymar made the penalty that won Brazil the shootout, and their entire team was visibly emotional after the win, knowing how close they came to a much too early exit by their standards.
Brazil was very lucky to come out with a victory over South American rivals Chile in a penalty shootout. There were definite moments when the hosts could have lost it, and that would have been quite the disaster for them. In the end, Julio Cesar’s penalty shootout heroics saved the day and Brazil will look to the quarter-finals next where they will face another South American team in Colombia.
Commentary by Max Petkevicius
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