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Brazil beats Colombia 2-1 to reach semifinals
FORTALEZA, Brazil—Brazil made its way into the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 12 years, with goals coming from defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz in a 2-1 win over Colombia yesterday. Brazil, which had been eliminated in the quarterfinals at the last two World Cups, will next play Germany on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte. Silva gave Brazil the lead in the seventh minute, scoring with his left knee after a corner from Neymar passed through the Colombian defense. He celebrated the goal by pointing to the emblem on his jersey and shouting, “This is Brazil, this is Brazil.” Luiz added the second from a free kick in the 69th, sending a swerving long-range shot off the side of his foot into the top of the net. Colombia got one back in the 80th. James Rodriguez scored his tournament-leading sixth goal from the penalty spot after Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar brought down substitute Carlos Bacca inside the area.
Rodriguez tried to control the pace of the match at the Arena Castelao, but it was Brazil that created most of the scoring chances as Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina had to make a series of saves in the first half alone. The Colombians tried to pressure in the end after Rodriguez’s penalty, but Brazil held on with tough defending. “This is a very tough moment for us,” Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said. “We always had the dream of winning this match even though we knew Brazil would be a tough opponent. We knew how decisive this was, and any mistake would cost us.” Colombia was coming off four straight wins, playing some of the most impressive football of the tournament.
And the Colombians, playing in the quarterfinals for the first time, had entered the match with an offensive team that had scored 11 goals, second only to the Netherlands. “After not playing in the World Cup for so long, we were able to show the value of the Colombian football and the talent of some of our players,” said Pekerman, an Argentine. “They showed great spirit and presence of mind. They came to play a great World Cup, not just to participate.” (AP)