FIFA World Cup

Brazil vs. Colombia: Last-Minute Live Stream and Preview for 2014 World Cup

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28: (L-R) Thiago Silva, Luiz Gustavo, Ramires, Dani Alves, Jo, Marcelo, Hulk, Willian and Neymar of Brazil look on during a penalty shootout during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

The most beautifully balanced tie of the quarter-finals happens in Fortaleza where hosts Brazil take on the tournament's form side, Colombia.

The game will be Brazil's biggest test of the competition so far, up against a Colombian team with a potent attack.

James Rodriguez has arguably been the star of the World Cup so far and he will be hoping to inflict as much damage as possible on Brazil's suspect defence.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  James Rodriguez of Colombia is picked up by goalkeeper David Ospina in celebration after defeating Uruguay 2-0 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28,
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Here are last-minute details on how you can watch this essential knockout match:

 

When: Friday, July 4, at 9 p.m. BST (4 p.m. ET)

Where: Fortaleza, Brazil

TV: ITV HD (UK only); ESPN (U.S. only)

Live Stream: ITV Player (UK only); ESPN Player (U.S. only)

 

What Will Brazil Do To Stop James Rodriguez?

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 17:  (L-R) Luiz Gustavo of Brazil, Marcelo, David Luiz, Julio Cesar and Thiago Silva sing the National Anthem before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 17, 2014 in Fortaleza,
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

So far, Brazil have played within their capabilities and progressed without hitting their peak. But on Friday, they will need to find an extra gear in both defence and attack to leapfrog fellow South Americans Colombia.

Their main threat comes from Rodriguez—the 23-year-old top scorer of the World Cup who is making Lionel Messi-like waves across the competition.

Brazil normally start with a back four with attacking full-backs, and if they want to maintain this tactic, they will need two midfielders to sit deep. 

Colombia surge forward in numbers and if they counter-attack on their illustrious opponents, the Brazilians could find themselves outnumbered on many occasions. 

Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

Football writer Dermot Corrigan recently commented on how impressive the Colombians have been in the World Cup, but that Brazil will offer them some real resistance in their quest for progression:

The pertinent words from Corrigan here are: "even this Brazil." 

This is not a classic Brazilian team despite being filled by a host of household names plying their trade at Europe's biggest clubs. 

Stopping Rodriguez will be one goal achieved, but Colombia have shown they are a strong unit, and James could be used as a foil. If he doesn't directly influence play, you can bet the likes of Juan Cuadrado will be doing everything possible to share the load.

Brazil have no choice but to improve because if they maintain their current level, they will be crying tears of defeat at the end of the match. 

 

Fernandinho's Fear

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Neymar reacts as Fernandinho of Brazil stands over during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Ge
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Manchester City defensive midfielder Fernandinho has spoken of his fear of letting down a nation that expects so much, and he also sent out a warning regarding Colombian talisman, James. 

Joe Krishnan of The Independent reported the player's pre-match thoughts, ahead of a game in which he will be expected to mark Rodriguez due to Luiz Gustavo's absence.

Fernandinho said, per Krishnan:

I played against him in the Champions League. It was at the start of his time in Europe and he wasn't yet a first-choice for Porto. Already in that game he showed his technical quality with his left foot. In this World Cup he is showing everyone that the money Monaco paid for him was well invested. The less space he gets against us, the better it will be for Brazil.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  David Luiz of Brazil celebrates scoring his team's first goal with teammates during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

But Fernandinho dismissed the suggestion that pressure will get to him or his Brazil team-mates, insisting they are mentally prepared for any outcome:

We have been preparing ever since we first got together on May 26. We have worked on the psychological side and there is no need to do any of that now. What matters now is to show what we can do on the pitch.

The player's words are bold and thoughtful but there is little doubting that the pressure somewhat hurt them against Chile, in the round of 16. Brazil looked like the weight of the world was on their shoulders and they played without the type of freedom you expect.

Only Neymar looked motivated and fearless as they scrapped through via a penalty shootout, and if that Brazil turns up against Colombia, it will mean heartbreak.

Neymar was also injured in the game against Chile but is expected to make the starting line-up for the quarter-final, per Simon Rice of The Independent. 

If he does not make the team for any such reason Brazil will surely struggle. They lack leadership at times and Neymar has been a herculean figure for one so young. He accepts that the Brazilian public look to him for inspiration and is willing to deliver.

However, this might be the end of the road for the Brazilian dream. Colombia need to play their best and most artistic football but they are currently brimming with confidence.

With James on the verge of becoming a global icon in the mould of the best footballers on the planet, his birth as a modern genius could happen on Friday night. 

 

 

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