In this quarter final tie in the 2104 FIFA World Cup, tournament favorites Brazil took on the impressive James Rodriguez and Colombia.
With the tournament favorites, Brazil under immense pressure this was always going to be a fierce game between the two South American sides. Colombia have been the more impressive side so far in this world cup, but the Brazilians remain the favorites. Brazi will be eying the semi-finals against Germany ahead of this encounter.
The game started with Brazil on the front foot, winning a free kick about thirty yards away from Ospina’s goal which was struck harmlessly wide by Brazil’s Neymar. They were pressing high and controlling possession. Then, Neymar wins a corner for Brazil in the 7th minute which is dispatched into the net by Brazil’s Thiago Silva. Brazil continue to press on after their goal, keeping the tempo high and force Ospina into a few saves, courtesy of Hulk and Chelsea’s Oscar. Colombia failed to really get hold of the game, only getting sporadic chances and failing to really test Julio César. As the half comes to a close it becomes clear that Brazil are intent on providing a much better performance than the game against Chile.
The second half began with Brazil looking a little bit off the pace. Thiago Silva picked up a yellow card for a foolish challenge on Ospina putting him out of contention for the semi final. Then, Brazil scored again. Brazil won a free kick the best of 40 yards out and David Luiz steppped up to fire it into the top corner. However, ten minutes later Colombia win a penalty which was put away by the brilliant James Rodriguez. Game on. Colombia continued to pile on the pressure and Brazil were forced to defend for their lives. In the 82nd minute Chelsea’s Ramires was brought on for Hulf to solidify the midfield. 5 minutes later Neymar was kneed in the back by Juan Camilo Zuñiga, fracturing his vertebrae ruling him out for the rest of the World Cup. The game ended with Brazil being the victors and the tears of James Rodriguez marked his last contribution to the competition.
The general consensus is that the refereeing in this game was atrocious. Referee Carlos Velasco should have issued several more yellow cards and perhaps one or more red cards. Had he taken action earlier in the game and set the tone, the game would not have been so barbarically physical and the players would not have been going down to the slightest of touches. The players had control of the game. Not the referee. Brazilians should blame Carlos Velasco for Neymar’s injury.
All in all fantastic contest despite the referee’s failure to control the game which resulted in Neymar’s horrible injury.