Flag of BrazilThe Seleção did not produce the most impressive display as they saw off South American rivals Columbia in their toughest encounter yet at the 2014 FIFA World Cup as they booked a place in the semi-finals. Two goals, one from inspirational captain Thiago Silva, and brilliant long range free-kick from his defence partner David Luiz, were enough to see off their opposition. A converted penalty by tournament leading top goal scored James Rodriguez provided a nervy last tem minutes for players and spectators alike.

Thiago Silva’s opening goal came just after six minutes and calmed the nerves of those watching in Fortaleza. With a goal advantage Brazil could effectively focus attention on Columbian sensation Rodriguez who had notched five goals at the tournament already. The game was played in a frenetic end-to-end fashion somewhat resemblance of a high-school championship game. Such was the pace and openness of the game that the hosts could have either run away with it or could have cried bitter tears in the end.

Brilliance and Nerves

In all the running about, the game came to holt in the 68th minute as Brazil were awarded a free-kick some 30 plus metres from the goal. What followed was a wonder strike from David Luiz as he hit a deliciously placed shot into the top of the net. Columbia threw everything forward and two minutes later were rewarded with a penalty as some intricate play left the Brazil defence at sixes-and-sevens before Julio Cesar fouled Carlos Bacca to concede a penalty. James Rodriguez converted the resulting set piece to set up nervy finish.

Neymar ruled out

As the game was winding down, Neymar Jr, was stretched off after he was hit in the lower back during an aerial challenge with Colombia defender Juan Zuniga. The 22 year old was in considerable pain upon his departure and it was soon revealed after the game that he had been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. Neymar, suffered a fractured vertebra and has been ruled out for between three to six weeks. With neymar out, the odds stack up further against Brazil, who will have to compete for a place in the final without Neymar and captain Thiago Silva who picked up a second yellow in the quarter final.

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