It was an exciting match for 90 minutes that went down to the wire, but Brazil outlasted Colombia at the World Cup quarterfinals by a score of 2-1.
Two players that had a big role in this match were Thiago Silva and Neymar, the squad's captain and its biggest star. These competitors each showed positive and negative moments, but their impact was seen throughout the day.
Unfortunately, the stories at the end of the match are about Neymar's health and how the squad will fare without a suspended Silva going forward.
This duo teamed up early in the competition to put Brazil on top in the opening minutes. After the hosts earned a corner in the seventh minute, Neymar drilled a cross over most of the players where Silva was there to tap it in with his knee.
As per ESPN FC, this was the perfect start for the team:
ESPN The Magazine was certainly impressed by the centre-back coming through with the opening goal:
Thiago Silva is such a stud. #BRAvsCOL— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) July 4, 2014
On the other hand, Fox Soccer Trax noted that it was more of a mistake by Carlos Sanchez:
Sloppy goal, Thiago Silva gets the final touch, knees it in. Neymar with the corner. Carlos Sanchez caught out badly there. 1-0— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) July 4, 2014
Still, the goal counted and the two key players continued to make big plays throughout the first half. Silva was great defensively with his late tackles while Neymar also stepped up on that end of the pitch, although sometimes illegally, via Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports:
Neymar is just going to line up six yards away on free kicks. Cool.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) July 4, 2014
Meanwhile, the forward was still impressing those watching him in the open field:
Neymar is like a ballerina out there on the field. His touch on the ball is so light. Took possession so easily on that last attack...— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 4, 2014
The score remained at 1-0 throughout the first half and deep into the second period. Neymar continued to make an impact all over the pitch, as shown by Squawka Football:
However, a big moment happened at the 64th minute as Silva received a yellow card for blocking the opposing keeper:
Out of all the 40 fouls, Thiago Silva gets booked for blocking the keeper's punt. And now he'll miss the next match. Captain.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 4, 2014
Bleacher Report's Dan Levy points out how poor his decision was:
Thiago Silva is going to miss the semifinals of the World Cup for being a moron.— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) July 4, 2014
As a result of this mental lapse, the captain will be forced to miss the team's semifinal match against Germany. This is a loss that will be difficult for Brazil to make up, but David Luiz and likely Dante will have to make up for it.
Luiz stepped up immediately after as his drilled free kick in the 68th minute gave Brazil a 2-0 lead. The play came immediately following a yellow card by James Rodriguez, and it gave the hosts some much-needed breathing room.
This was important because Rodriguez made up for this misstep with a successful penalty shot in the 80th minute. However, a worse moment for Brazil came in the 88th minute when Neymar was apparently kneed in the back, according to CBC Sports:
As SportsCenter notes, he was taken off the pitch in a stretcher and went right into the locker room:
Bad news for Brazil. Neymar taken off field by medical team.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 4, 2014
The severity of the injury is not yet known, but he was replaced by Henrique. This remains something to monitor going forward, although Brazil can be happy with at least holding on for the 2-1 victory, securing their place in the World Cup semifinals against Germany.
After needing penalty kicks against Chile to escape with a win in the round of 16, this team has come under fire for their poor play. However, Neymar explained that the score does not matter as long as they come away with a win, via The Daily Telegraph:
You can't always enjoy yourself and win 4-0 or 5-0. Football nowadays is so difficult, so even, that the team who is most committed on the pitch ends up winning.
I don't want a show. That's the last thing we are trying to do. We are not necessarily here to produce a spectacle. We are here to run to the end, until we are tired, and come out as winners.
Although there were plenty of mistakes once again, Brazil found a way to come away with the victory.
As Craig Foster of SBS pointed out, this came without Neymar even playing at his best level:
Good for Brazil, problem for Germany is Neymar nowhere near best. Not needed tonight. They're improving as they go. Ominous #SBSWorldCup— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) July 4, 2014
If he is able to recover from his injury and reach his potential against Germany, this squad should be able to continue winning and moving into the finals. The loss of Silva will hurt, but it is not a death sentence.
Of course, anything less than a championship would be considered a disappointment for this talented group.
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