Brazil’s hopes of hoisting the 2014 FIFA World Cup trophy at home remain alive after the hosts defeated Colombia 2-1 on Saturday evening in Fortaleza, Brazil, behind goals from the team’s two center backs, Thiago Silva and David Luiz. Colombia pulled back a late goal on a James Rodriguez penalty, but couldn’t find an equalizer.
Brazil took the lead in just the 7th minute after a Neymar corner kick found its way past everyone in the box to Thiago Silva at the far post. With Colombia ‘keeper David Ospina in no position to make a save, Silva deflected the ball in to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
The hosts continued a strong start with two chances in the 20th minute as Neymar played Hulk into the left side of the box. Hulk’s shot was saved by Ospina, but the rebound fell to Oscar, who powered a shot on frame. Again Ospina was up to the task to keep Colombia within one.
Hulk had another chance eight minutes later, this time set up by Marcelo, but Ospina made another save. Oscar had yet another chance at a rebound, but it was nullified by a foul committed by Paulinho. Brazil would go into the half with a 10 to 4 advantage in shots.
Colombia thought they had equalized in the 66th minute when Mario Yepes finished off a James Rodriguez free kick after a scramble in the box, but Yepes was ruled offside.
Brazil then doubled their lead in the 69th minute after winning a free kick about 35 yards from goal. David Luiz stepped up to take the set piece and curled it perfectly into the upper corner to make it 2-0.
Colombia got a lifeline in the 77th minute after substitute Carlos Bacca got behind the defense on a Rodriguez pass, but was tripped up by Brazil keeper Julio Cesar as he ran towards goal. Colombia was immediately awarded a penalty kick which Rodriguez finished for his sixth goal of the tournament, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Colombia put Brazil under pressure late looking for an equalizer, but the hosts held on to advance to the semifinals where they’ll face Germany on Tuesday.
Brazil suffered two blows in the match, however, as Thiago Silva picked up a yellow card that will keep him out for the semifinal on yellow card accumulation and Neymar later suffered a fractured vertebra that will keep him out for the rest of the World Cup.