It was South America Day at the World Cup today, a day that saw Chile take the home nation to penalty kicks, before Neymar saved Brazil’s blushes.
Chile were a team that many thought could give Brazil some problems and that turned out to be the case in this evenly played match.
Brazil got on the scoreboard first, with center back David Luiz credited with the goal, although the ball looked to have been deflected into the Chile goal by Gonzalo Jaro for an o.g.
Chile came back, pressuring a Marcelo throw-in and dispossessing Hulk, leading to an Alexis Sanchez goal in the 32nd minute.
Both Julio Cesar in the Brazilian net and Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo came up big throughout the day. Bravo in particular shone in the late stages of regulation as Brazil was pushing for a winner.
Cesar came up huge to save the first two penalty kicks from Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez, putting Chile in trouble.
Pinilla had almost won the game for Chile when he fired a rasper off the crossbar in the closing moments of the second extra time period. Brazil had a Hulk goal overturned by referee Howard Webb, who correctly ruled that the powerful Brazilian had controlled the ball with his arm. The home team still might have won this match in regular time if not for Bravo’s heroics and the poor shooting of Brazil’s striker’s. Both starter Fred and his replacement Jo missed good chances.
Brazil’s Golden Boy Neymar, scored what proved to be the decisive penalty, when Jara blasted his penalty try off of the post, eliminating Chile and sending Brazil on to a mouth watering quarterfinal matchup against James Rodriguez and Colombia.
Rodriguez has been perhaps the breakout star of this World Cup, on Saturday JRod scored twice in Colombia’s 2-0 win over Uruguay, and his first goal might have been the goal of Brazil 2014.
Luis Suarez, absent from the Uruguay team, was the story of the day when this game began, afterwards all anybody wanted to talk about was Rodriguez, the 22 year old AS Monaco midfielder, and the remarkable goal that he volleyed into the Uruguayan net in the 28th minute.
Without Suarez, Uruguay were poor in their first World Cup game, a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica, and on Saturday without the disgraced striker Uruguay were outplayed by this exciting young Colombian team.
La Celeste are following their shamed genius home but not in quite the fashion we imagined. Colombia skip on to the next, and so far greatest, challenge of their young lives.