Brazil, Columbia Book Quarter Final Spots

Brazil squeezed through to Rodriguezthe quarter-finals of the World Cup after coming within a whisker of going out against an accomplished Chile side. Neymar’s penalty in the shootout proved decisive when Chile’s ex-Nottingham Forest, West Brom and Brighton defender Gonzalo Jara smashed the final spot-kick against the post.

The win – 1-1 after extra time and 3-2 on penalties — keeps Brazil’s dreams alive of winning a World Cup on home soil – and their record of not losing a competitive match at home since 1975.

Chile had taken Brazil all the way in Belo Horizonte, dominating for long spells of the second half and nearly snatching it at the death through Mauricio Pinilla’s strike which struck the crossbar.

Brazil had taken the lead through a goal awarded to David Luiz – even though it appeared to come off a Chile player – before Chile netted a deserved equaliser through Alexis Sanchez.

Uruguay followed their shamed striker Luis Suarez out of the World Cup as the furore over his lengthy ban for biting was eclipsed by a goal of spectacular beauty by Colombia’s young star James Rodriguez.

It was going to take something very special to stop this match being all about Suarez — and 22-year-old Rodriguez provided it with the first of his two goals to set up a 2-0 win for a Colombian side who have made light of the injury-related absence of their own missing striker Radamel Falcao.

Rodriguez, a team-mate of Falcao’s at Monaco, scored the goal of the tournament so far and has emerged as one of the outstanding players of the World Cup, with five goals now to his name. — sportinglife

His moment of brilliance came in the 28th minute when Abel Aguilar looped a high header to the edge of the penalty box, and Rodriguez — after a quick glance towards goal — controlled it on his chest and hit a magnificent volley on the turn that skimmed over the goalkeeper’s fingertips and crashed in off the underside of the crossbar. — sportinglife

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