Final, 2-1 Brazil: The game is over. Brazil defeats Colombia and earns itself a place in the 2014 World Cup semifinals.
The road to glory is never a smooth one — not even for Brazil when it plays on home soil. Brazil topped Colombia in what will probably go down as the most chaotic, borderline farcical, games of the 2014 World Cup. There was no rhythm to the contest, which helps explain the lack of scoring chances from both sides.
There wasn’t much in the game aside from the foul-fest and super-sub-par refereeing. Silva’s early goal fired up the crowd, but Brazil couldn’t sustain the emotion through entertainment. Luiz’s free kick was great, but Ospina should have saved it. We’re left to sift through the rubble, and there isn’t much treasure within.
James Rodriguez is going home nine days before the 2014 FIFA World Cup ends. Fans should lament Rodriguez’s absence, as he was the best player at the tournament up to this point. It was a touching, and utterly fitting sight to see Brazil’s players and coaches attempt to console the inconsolable Rodriguez after the final whistle.
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Neymar’s injury will be cause for international concern. Brazil is barely firing with Neymar in the lineup. It wouldn’t make for a pretty sight if Brazil was forced to play without the superstar forward.
Silva’s yellow card rules him out of semifinal. Brazil could pay a heavy toll for his mindless act.
Brazil will face Germany on Tuesday in the first 2014 World Cup semifinal — possibly without its only world-class forward and one of two defensive stars.
That’s all for now and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.
90th minute, 2-1 Brazil: There will be five minutes of added time in the second half.
88th minute, 2-1 Brazil: Here’s a sight no one wants to see. Neymar is being stretchered off the field and into the dressing room after Zuniga appeared to knee him in the small of the back.
Henrique, a center back, replaces Neymar.
86th minute, 2-1 Brazil: Brazil makes another change. Paulinho departs, and Hernanes takes his place.
83rd minute, 2-1 Brazil: Brazil makes a change, replacing Hulk with Ramires.
80th minute, 2-1 Brazil: Colombia makes its final substitution, bringing on Juan Quintero for Cuadrado.
80th minute, 2-1 Brazil: Rodriguez cooly beats Cesar with the penalty kick, and Colombia is back to within striking distance.
It’s Rodriguez’s sixth goal of the 2014 World Cup — two more than any other player.
78th minute, 2-0 Brazil: It’s a penalty kick for Colombia. Rodriguez made a perfect through-pass to Bacca, who took one touch before on-rushing goalkeeper Julio Cesar took him down.
Cesar is cautioned for the foul.
70th minute, 2-0 Brazil: Colombia makes another change up front, bringing on forward Carlos Bacca for Teo Gutierrez.
69th minute, 2-0 Brazil: Luiz hammers in the free kick, and Brazil is up by two.
Ospina should have saved it, as Luiz’s dipping shot hit him in the hand.
67th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Rodriguez is cautioned for a foul on Hulk. The Colombia playmaker pulled out of the tackle, but the referee showed him a yellow card anyway.
66th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Colombia thought it had scored the tying goal, but it’s disallowed for offside.
Yepes was the would-be goal scorer.
64th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Silva is cautioned for running into Ospina as the Colombia goalkeeper was trying to drop-kick the ball.
Silva will be suspended for the semifinal (against Germany) should Brazil advance — much to chagrin of head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
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63rd minute, 1-0 Brazil: Constant fouling continues to mar this game.
58th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Silva is down momentarily. The Brazil defender tackled Ramos from behind and appears to have been worse off for it.
52nd minute, 1-0 Brazil: The second half has opened much like the first played itself out. Tackles are flying during the fast action, and the referee is resisting the urge to manage the game with yellow (or red) cards.
46th minute, 1-0 Brazil: The second half is underway.
Colombia made a substitution at halftime, bringing on striker Adrian Ramos for Ibarbo.
Halftime, 1-0 Brazil: That’s the end of the first half. Brazil leads by one.
The open and uncompromising nature of this game makes it hard to imagine how the first half produced only one goal and zero yellow cards. But that’s where things stand at the break.
Brazil played with a fire and sense of urgency that it hadn’t displayed in its first four games of the tournament, and the hosts deserve their lead on balance of play.
Brazil might have scored two or three times in the first half, but Ospina made a few big saves.
Colombia has attacked and tackled with aggression, showing no intention of rolling over for the hosts. But Colombia abandoned its defensive shape for long stretches, which Brazil repeatedly exploits.
45th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Neymar misses with a free kick from a good position.
38th minute, 1-0 Brazil: The first half continues with the same pace and intensity that has characterized it from the start.
But the game is turning physical, as both teams are committing fouls. The referee isn’t handling it very well.
28th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Hulk fires a low shot on goal from a tight angle, but Ospina dives and turns it away.
25th minute, 1-0 Brazil: The game continues at a break-neck pace, as the action flows from end to end.
Brazil was threatening to increase its lead while Colombia’s defense was in shreds, but the visitors have organized themselves and are now looking win the ball and make good use of it.
20th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Colombia goalkeeper Ospina makes an important double save.
First, Ospina punched Hulk’s powerful shot away. The ball came to Oscar, who shot on goal, but Ospina saved the follow-up with both hands.
17th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Brazil continues to apply the pressure, and it almost pays off.
Hulk dispossessed Cuadrado inside Colombia’s penalty area, but the Brazil forward couldn’t direct his shot on target.
14th minute, 1-0 Brazil: Rodriguez is down momentarily after a body check from Fernandinho.
Seventh minute, 1-0 Brazil: Thiago Silva puts Brazil in front with an early goal.
Neymar floated a free kick into the goal-mouth. Brazil’s David Luiz and Colombia defenders Mario Yepes, Cristian Zapata and midfielder Victor Ibarbo failed to head the ball, and it continued to the far post where Silva arrived to redirect it into the goal.
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Fifth minute, 0-0: The spotlight is on Neymar, who misses with a free kick from 35 yards out.
First minute, 0-0: The quarterfinal between Brazil and Colombia is underway.
Kickoff: The teams are coming out for the national anthems.
Pregame: Brazil is the five-time world champion. Colombia is playing a World Cup quarterfinal for the first time in its history.
It might look like a mismatch on paper, but it’s not. The current generations of Brazil’s and Colombia’s national teams have played to four straight stalemates.
3:45 p.m.: Here are the lineups:
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3:30 p.m. ET: The soccer world turns its eyes to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Friday, as Brazil takes on Colombia in a 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal.
The matchup pits two teams with huge bases of support — host nation Brazil is backed by 200 million, while Colombia fans have attended their team’s World Cup games in droves and turned stadiums into seas of yellow — against each other.
The game also pits two of the tournament’s stars against each other. Neymar has hauled Brazil out of difficulty with goals in high-pressure situations. Colombia’s James Rodriguez is the breakout star of the 2014 World Cup, topping the goal-scoring charts with five goals in four games.
But Brazil-Colombia won’t center around the two stars or their legions of fans. The game will be about what the 11 players on each side accomplish together.
Brazil’s tight defense and Neymar’s timely goals have taken the hosts this far, but their title credentials will tested like never before when they face Colombia, which has enthralled fans and neutrals alike by attacking with almost reckless abandon. Something must give way in this clash of styles.
The game kicks off at 4 p.m. Stay right here for all the action from the Estadio Castelao.
Photo via USA Today Sports Images