Photo: Brazil vs Colombia
Both of Brazil’s goals came on set pieces in a 2-1 win here Friday over scrappy Colombia, raising questions about how the five-time World Cup champions will fare in next week’s semifinal against Germany.
The host nation will have to take on Germany without their captain, Thiago Silva, suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.
Brazil may also need to find a substitute for offensive sparkplug Neymar, who was carried off the field in the closing minutes of the contest in Fortaleza.
The Brazilians jumped out to an early lead thanks to a Colombian defensive blunder that resulted in a corner.
Neymar’s kick found Thiago Silva unguarded at the far post and the captain made it 1-0 for Brazil in the 7th minute.
The match was marred by dozens of fouls, yet the first yellow card didn’t appear until almost midway through the second half.
David Luiz’s masterful goal on a free kick in the 68th minute seemed to put the contest out of reach for Colombia, but the picture changed dramatically 12 minutes later when Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar brought down Carlos Bacca in the area.
Cesar was spared a red card, but Colombia was awarded a penalty and James Rodriguez cut Brazil’s lead in half with his tournament-leading sixth goal of the competition.
The goal re-energized the Colombians and they kept the Brazil defense busy until the final seconds.