Brazil and Colombia will meet in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday but they both got their with two very different performances.
Brazil looked uninspired against Chile and were lucky to be a their South American rivals 3-2 on penalties after drawing 1-1 after extra time. Gonzalo Jara hit the post with the decisive kick, while Julio Cesar saved two, to give Brazil a 3-2 win in the shootout and send the Chileans home.
We saw none on the free flowing football that we have came to expect from Brazil, and with Neymar a periphery in the second half and extra time, Brazil resorted to route one football with long balls up to Jo late in the game.
Without the individual brilliance of Neymar, this is a very average Brazilian team and Chile’s performance against them would have given hope to the remaining teams left if the competition, that the hosts are very beatable.
And one team that can accomplish that goal is Colombia, who beat Uruguay 2-o thanks to two sublime goals from James Rodriguez. Rodriquez’s two goals made him top scorer in the competition and helped his country reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
Without the suspended Luis Suarez, Uruguay adopted a very defensive posture, a tactical plan that backfired when they went behind. When Uruguay did attack in the last 20 minutes, they caused Colombia all sort of problems and you wonder what would have happened if they had attacked sooner?