World Cup - Neymar out of finals as Brazil overcome stubborn Colombia

World Cup Quarter Final, Estadio Castelao - Brazil 2 (Thiago Silva 7’ Luiz 69’) Colombia 1 (Rodriguez 79’ pen)

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World Cup - Neymar out of finals as Brazil overcome stubborn Colombia
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Brazil's Thiago Silva celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza July 4, 2014 (Reuters)

Brazil booked their place in the semi-finals of the World Cup, beating Colombia 2-1 courtesy of goals from Thiago Silva and David Luiz.

However, it may have come at a considerable cost with star man Neymar stretchered off after a rather industrial challenge from Juan Zuniga - with Brazil's talisman immediately taken to hospital. He was later ruled out with a fractured vertebrae.

Brazil were less affected by the nerves that held them back in their game against Chile, and the early goal calmed them further. It took just seven minutes to establish a lead, when Silva tucked in a Neymar corner.

The rest of the half was end-to-end stuff, and the two sides traded punches. Brazil went close with Hulk, and Colombia will rue Juan Cuadrado’s misplaced pass when his side outnumbered the hosts on the counter.

Brazil were lucky to go unpunished for repeat fouls on James Rodriguez, but Colombia got away with their own reckless play when Juan Zuniga was not even booked for putting his studs into Hulk’s knee.

The second half failed to match the frenetic energy of the first, but that did not stop Luiz scoring a remarkable, 35-yard free kick, aimed into the top corner to seal victory. That Rodriguez, heavily fouled throughout but not protected by the referee, was the man to concede the free kick with a soft foul on Hulk, will only frustrate Colombia.

Colombia were given hope with a late Rodriguez penalty, which could have seen Julio Cesar sent off, but Brazil earned their semi-final clash with Germany.

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KEY EVENTS

7’ - SILVA GOAL - Neymar’s corner is curled in from the left, and Cesar Sanchez’s ball-watching allows Silva to nip in ahead to knee the ball home.

11’ - CUADRADO SHOT - Silva to the rescue as he blocks Cuadrado’s shot from the edge of the box, which is just wide of goal.

20’ - HULK CHANCE - Hulk appears on the left of the box and has a low shot blocked by Ospina.

28’ - OSPINA SAVE - Hulk picks up a pull back, shifts the ball left and brings a good save from Ospina, diving to his left.

44’ - NEYMAR FREE KICK - Just outside the box, to the left of goal, Neymar hits a free kick just over the opposite corner.

64’ - SILVA YELLOW - Silva runs across Ospina as he looked to clear the ball, and is booked for the foul. He will miss the semi-final.

69’ - LUIZ GOAL - A free kick 35 yards out after Rodriguez concedes a foul on Hulk. Luiz steps up and curls a brilliant, powerful shot into the top corner, that Ospina can only reach with his fingertips.

77’ - PENALTY - Bacca dinks the ball over Cesar as he reaches Rodriguez’s through ball, and is comprehensively cleaned out. He’s only booked.

79’ - RODRIGUEZ GOAL - His stuttering run-up sends Cesar to Rodriguez’s right, and the Colombian sends his shot to the opposite side.

KEY STATS

Colombia have never beaten Brazil at the World Cup.

James Rodriguez is the first player to score five consecutive goals at the World Cup since Rivaldo.

Colombia have not beaten Brazil in thirteen games.

The 54 fouls in the match is the highest of the tournament.

Brazil have not lost a competitive match at home since 1975.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

The referees performance was disgraceful. James Rodriguez was consistently fouled throughout the match, and yet not a single booking was given in the first half. Zuniga stuck his studs into Hulk’s knee, and still the referee did nothing. When Neymar was stretchered off after a reckless knee to his spine, and Rodriguez spent much of the second half wincing on the floor, it was not the players to blame, but the man who failed to control any of the game.

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MAN OF THE MATCH

David Luiz (Brazil): Chances were inevitably going to be conceded against such an effective attacking side as Colombia, particularly with Rodriguez in such good form, but Luiz and Silva formed a relatively stable back line for the side, and his amazing free kick was a deserving winner.

PLAYER RATINGS

Brazil: Cesar 6, Maicon 6, Marcelo 6, Luiz 8, Silva 7, Paulinho 6, Fernandinho 7, Hulk 6, Oscar 5, Neymar 6, Fred 6. Subs: Ramires 6, Hernanes 6, Henrique 6.

Colombia: Ospina 6, Zuniga, Armero 6, Zapata 6, Yepes 7, Sanchez 6, Guarin 6, Cuadrado 7, Rodriguez 8, Ibarbo 6, Gutierrez 6. Subs: Ramos 6, Bacca 6, Quintero 6.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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