Goalkeeper Julio Cesar was the hero as Brazil secured a dramatic penalty shootout win against Chile to reach the last eight and set up an all-South American quarter-final against Colombia. Julio Cesar made two crucial spot-kick saves to deny the relentless Chile side victory. The host nation was on the brink of an unexpected exit in Belo Hrorizonte.
The long lost hero
Cesar, who was on loan at Toronto FC from Queens Park Rangers having just made one appearance for the English side. Cesar’s two saves was redemption in some respects for his error in 2010 that led to their quarter-finals exit to the Netherlands. He saved from Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez as Brazil went on to win a tense shootout 3-2.
Gonzalo Jara stepped up to hit the decisive penalty. Jara beat Cesar but the ball struck the post to prompt wild celebrations inside the Estadio Mineiro.
David Luiz had earlier on put the hosts into the lead. Sanchez was on hand to pull the Chileans level. However a high tempo first half was followed by a drab second half which made extra time inevitable. The tension in Belo Horizonte could be cut with a knife. Brazil goalkeeper César was literally in tears before and after his heroics.
What’s to come
200 million Brazilian hearts hold bated breath as they hope to see Neymar continue to take them forward. Columbia in their own regard have a wonder-kid of their own, James Rodriguez who has scored in all four of their games thus far. A feat of scoring in four consecutive games last seen by the likes of Ronlado and Rivaldo. The two South American rivals will battle it out on the 4th of July at the Estadio CastelaoFortaleza.