Silva & Luiz power Brazil past Colombia in a 2-1 victory
With Neymar of Brazil proclaiming he feels fine and is ready to play after suffering a knee injury Monday, the South American showdown of stars with Colombia’s James Rodríguez was set for Friday afternoon on the Estadio Castelão pitch in Fortaleza. This is the first time in World Cup history these two nations met on the pitch, and going into the match, it promises to be a memorable day.
The quarter of the World Cup bracket that saw four South America teams sees the two Round of 16 winners return to the pitch to square off against each other. Brazil, by many people’s estimation, is lucky to be here after a close scare verses Chile that required a friendly post to help them advance in a shootout.
Colombia did not have too difficult of a time against Uruguay; lead by James Rodríguez who is looking to add to his already impressive World Cup performance. Rodríguez, who turn 23-years-old July 12, has scored in all four matches with two coming against Uruguay. Friday he looked to become the first player since 2002 to score in his team’s first five World Cup matches.
The crowd decked out in yellow to support the host nation had early reason to get up and cheer for their team. In the seventh minute of the match off a corner kick by Neymar, Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva found an untouched ball headed his way. While not the most graceful of goals, Silva managed to surround the ball and guide it into the far side of the net and past Colombia’s goalkeeper David Ospina with his knee for an early 1-0 Brazilian advantage. Thiago Silva’s goal was the first for a Brazilian captain in two decades and put Colombia behind for the first time at this year’s World Cup. Like France earlier in the day, this was the first time Colombia played in this World Cup behind their opponent.
The same arc of play on the pitch seen against Chile took over for Brazil in their match against Colombia. They came out playing well for the first 25 minutes and then saw their energy level and crisp play fall off; allowing Colombia to grab some of the match’s momentum. The host nation did not have the same defensive lapse that they made use of when they scored their goal. Thiago Silva’s tally proved to be the first half’s only one as the halftime whistle blew.
With fans hoping the referee found his yellow card at halftime and commentators hinting he may not even wish to it if he did find it, the second half began between Brazil and Colombia. It took until the match’s 63rd minute for its first yellow to be booked. Thiago Silva took the honors of having the first goal and first yellow card; his second of the tournament, which means he would miss any Semifinals match Brazil takes part in.
After seeing the yellow card dusted off it was time to wake up the scoreboard operator to tally another goal for Brazil. In the 69th minute, defender David Luiz took a free kick from 34-yards away. Not needing too much skill other than force, Luiz fired a shot high to David Ospina’s left that ticked off the tip of his left hand glove and reached the back of the net in the blink of an eye. The free kick was only the third to find the back of any net in Brazil
The young star for Colombia took advantage of Brazil’s first big mistake of the match. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar was yellow carded after taking out Carlos Bacca who was looking to get a ball over the Brazilian’s head. James Rodríguez lined up the penalty kick and pulled one back for Colombia who were only down 2-1 in the 78th minute. Rodríguez continued his streak and has now scored in all five of Colombia’s matches this year; the tally was his sixth overall in Brazil. He became the second youngest player to score six goals in the World Cup, behind only the 17-year old Pelé who did it in 1958.
Brazil was once able to hold their lead for the rest of the match and come out ahead of Colombia. The win Friday advances the host nation to the Semifinals where they will meet Germany, who beat France 1-0 earlier in the day, on Tuesday, July 8.