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With two goals by central defenders Brazil won 2-1 against Colombia and therefore saw off the most exciting team in the tournament and the hosts advance to the semifinals where they'll face Germany. The match was marked by very poor refereeing by Carlos Velasco Carballo and Neymar's injury which means the World Cup is over for him.
It was another difficult victory for Brazil but they did manage to win this one in regular time and this is a testament to their character. They took the lead in the 7th minute, Thiago Silva being the scorer. Brazil played well and despite David Luiz leaving his defensive duties behind to dribble forward Brazil weren't in danger of conceding as Colombia and James Rodriguez were failing to play exciting football they've played against the likes of Japan, Ivory Coast, Greece and Uruguay.
Referee Carballo from Spain infuriated Colombia with some of his decisions, and some will say he prevented Colombia from playing by always whistling the foul for Brazil. As much as he protected Neymar, he failed to protect James Rodriguez in the same way and Colombia were rendered toothless, playing against the run of play, against the score and against the referee.
The scrappy game was decided when David Luiz whipped in a perfect free kick in the 68th minute for 2-0, and it was the first goal scored directly from a free kick in this tournament. Carballo awarded a penalty kick to Colombia and James Rodriguez converted it, it was 2-1 in the 80th minute. There were some nerve-wracking moments for Brazil in the final minutes but they've managed to protect their lead.
In the 88th minute the disaster struck as Juan Zuniga struck Neymar's back with his knee and broke his spine. The best Brazilian player will miss the rest of the tournament.
Brazil may have progressed to the semi-finals with their 2-1 defeat of Colombia but their star player and poster-boy of the 2014 World Cup, Neymar, is out and won't play again.
Brazil were stunned when Neymar was stretchered off after a clumsy tackle and taking a knee to the back from by Colombia's Juan Zuniga. Writhing in agony, Neymar was obviosuly in a lot of pain leaving the stadium and it was later confirmed that he'd suffered a broken vertebra in his back.
Rodrigo Lasmar, the Brazilian team Doctor confirmed that although he won't need surgery to recover, Neymar will need to immobilise his back and that he'll be unable to play in any of the forthcoming games.
Zuniga later denied that there was any malicious intent saying, “"I never meant to hurt a player. I was on the field, playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt."
With his goal scoring talent, netting 4 and also a goal in a penalty shootout in this World Cup, he'll be missed by a Brazil team who haven't played to the best of their abilities so far, although they did get a little redemption in the Colombia match.
Neymar has been a keystone of the games Brazil have been involved in and it'll be interesting to see how the team copes with the loss of it's star player against the strength of the German team who are playing well and look like they may have some more in reserve.
Germany are the first team to advance to the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup, and they did so against visibly exhausted French team. The match was largely uneventful with Germany scoring a goal in the 13th minute and then spending the rest of the match routinely coasting to victory and occasionally threatening from counter attacks. Germany now wait for their opponent, it will be either Brazil or Colombia, they're playing later tonight and you can read our match preview here.
The French team didn't look anything like the team that won 2-0 against Nigeria in the round of 16, and right from the start it was obvious the team is tired. The hot temperature and high humidity took their first victim in this tournament and it was France as they just couldn't do anything in this match. Paul Pogba spent the match being frustrated with his team being utterly harmless, and he did nothing himself. Coach Didier Deschamps seems to have made mistake with the substitutions as well, and left useless Griezmann on the pitch and brought on equally useless Giroud at the same time. France just couldn't do anything to turn this match around, and the golden chance Karim Benzema had in the final minute was just an accident.
Germany didn't seem to play at all, they were saving energy and protecting their lead, and only in the final third they would show their skills. However, they have failed to score despite creating several notable goalscoring chances. The Germans seemed to have it easy in offense as the French were completely unconcentrated and would make bad back passes and couldn't run to catch the German player. Still they somehow managed to concede only one goal.
This match was ruined by the heat and France didn't even have a chance to do something about this match while the Germans had the favored position as they only needed to protect their lead.