Brazil defeated a stubborn Colombia team 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Early on Brazil dominated and got an early goal, then doubled it with a great free kick from David Luiz. Colombia was able to get on the score sheet with a James Rodriguez penalty and almost got an equalizer late in the game, but came up just short.
Brazil was incredibly dominant in the first half of the match, going ahead 1-0 early through a Thiago Silva goal. The hosts were able to start off controlling the pace and broke through in the 7th minute. As soon as the corner came in from Neymar, the Colombian defenders followed David Luiz and Fred to the near post, leaving Brazilian captain Silva alone at the far post, and he was able to force in the ball awkwardly with his thigh. After the goal, Colombia looked a little shell-shocked as they continued to let the hosts force the issue in their own third. Hulk did well in the first half creating chances for himself and others. Colombian keeper Ospina had a great moment to keep his team down by only one goal in the 20th minute, saving a Hulk shot and a rebound shot.
A lot was expected from Colombia coming into this match after a great group stage and the breakout performances of their emerging star James Rodriguez. Those expectations were not met by them in the first half, as they were not able to create many chances and looked a little intimidated by Brazil, especially after the first goal. The Colombians were able to get more possession as the first half wore on, but not enough to create any clear-cut chances.
The second half started out much more balanced than the first, with the Colombians realizing they had to improve to have any chance of moving on. Although Neymar created the first goal as the one who took the corner, his play was not up to the level that is expected from him in the first half and early in the second. The second half saw Brazil sit on their early lead a bit as Colombia became increasingly more aggressive in attack and the hosts looked happy to let them. In the 65th minute, the captain and opening goal scorer Thiago Silva made a very bad decision and impeded the goalie from getting his kick off, earning him a yellow card, resulting in him missing the next match.
In the 67th minute, Colombia was able to find the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed because they were ruled offside on a free kick cross. For a very physical match with a lot of challenges, there had been no cards given until the Silva’s rash decision. Almost immediately after the first yellow, Colombia got their first yellow card and it led to a very well positioned free kick. David Luiz smashed the free kick beautifully into the top right of the net and Brazil was able to double their lead in the 69th minute. The stadium in Fortaleza erupted in pure joy as their team now looked poised to move onto the semifinals. In the 78th minute Colombia earned a penalty as Julio Cesar took down Carlos Bacca in the box and earned himself a yellow card in the process. James Rodriguez scored his sixth goal of the World Cup as he stutter-stepped and sent Cesar the opposite way, scoring from the penalty spot.
The penalty goal gave Colombia some much-needed confidence, as they almost got the equalizer immediately after. Bacca was not able to get on the end of a great cross from Rodriguez, but was ruled offside anyway. Colombia started to really force the issue in attack and Brazil looked a little shaky at the back. In the 88th minute, a very scary moment came for Brazil as Neymar had to be taken off on a stretcher. The hosts looked content to absorb the attack from their rivals the Colombians and it almost backfired on them because of the ferocity of the attacks.
Brazil defeated a very good Colombia team 2-1 in Fortaleza and will now look to face Germany in the semifinals. They will have to face them without their captain Thiago Silva, who will miss the match through suspension and Neymar will also be a question for the next match as he left the field on a stretcher. It was another great match in this World Cup that has been incredible to watch so far no matter who has been playing.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius
Read more of Guardian Liberty Voice’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals