We’re into the Knockout Rounds. Everything’s been taken up a notch, now.
Here’s how Day 16 of the World Cup shook out:
Brazil 1-1 (3-2) Chile | Full Recap
In a match that will long be remembered for its suspense, if not its quality, Brazil barely squeaked past South American rivals Chile to inch into the Quarterfinals.
Toronto FC goalkeeper Julio Cesar was the hero for the Brazilians, saving two Chilean penalty kicks in the shootout to help the host country book its ticket to the next round.
The match got off to a wild start, with David Luiz (or was it the Chilean defender?) bungling home a Thiago Silva flick of a Neymar corner from close-range to put Brazil up 1-0 in the 18th minute. Chile quickly found an equalizer, however, taking advantage of a Hulk turnover deep in Brazil’s territory to pull even through Alexis Sanchez in the 32nd.
Hulk looked to have made amends for his goal-causing turnover in the 55th minute, when he flicked a shot past Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to give Brazil an apparent 2-1 lead. Referee Howard Webb had other ideas though, calling Hulk for a handball and disallowing the goal.
We’ll let you be the judge on whether it was the right call:
Hulk goal disallowed for Handball http://t.co/wxEY2Yrn4g— Football Vines (@FootballVines) June 28, 2014
Both goalkeepers were called into play to keep things level late in the match, with Cesar making a big stop in the 64th minute before Bravo made a pair of clutch saves on Hulk in the 84th and in stoppage time.
Things were pretty quiet in extra time until the 120th minute, when Chile forward Mauricio Pinilla blasted a shot off the bar from 20 yards.
The woodwork would haunt Chile again in the shootout, with Jara putting the decisive penalty kick off the right post, across the face of goal and out to give Brazil the 3-2 victory.
Cesar was heroic in the shootout, earning top honors for his saves on both of Chile’s first two attempts. The TFC ‘keeper – who made a blunder that cost Brazil in the 2010 World Cup – was very emotional after the match, breaking down during an interview on the field immediately following the contest.
Brazil will resume their tournament on Friday, taking on Colombia in the quarterfinals in Fortaleza.
Colombia 2-0 Uruguay | Full Recap
Colombia star James Rodriguez stole the show in this one, scoring both goals for Los Cafeteros as they cruised to a comfortable win over Luis Suarez-less Uruguay to book their country’s first-ever appearance in the World Cup Quarterfinals.
Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 28th minute, putting Colombia ahead with one of the goals of the tournament. The goal was absolutely brilliant, with the 22-year-old collecting an Abel Aguilar header in between the Uruguayan lines, taking it down off his chest and rifling a 25-yard left-footed volley over Uruguay ‘keeper Fernando Muslera, off the underside of the crossbar and in.
Take a bow, James:
The new King James made it 2-0 in the 50th minute, tapping home a wonderful cushioned header from midfielder Juan Cuadrado from close range. The goal was Rodriguez’s fifth of the tournament, most of any player in this World Cup.
Uruguay had the better of the play after Rodriguez’s second, but La Celeste couldn’t quite find the back of the net. They’ll head home in the wake of suspended striker Luis Suarez, who returned to Uruguay earlier this week after FIFA hit him with a lengthy suspension for his bite of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Colombia is now through to the World Cup Quarterfinals for the first time in its history. Los Cafeteros will face hosts Brazil in the quarters on Friday in Fortaleza – it should be a matchup for the ages.