Brazil XI: Cesar, Alves, Silva, Luiz, Fernandinho, Marcelo, Hulk, Fred, Neymar, Oscar, Luiz Gustavo
Chile XI: Bravo, Mena, Isla, Silva, Sanchez, Vidal, Vargas, Medel, Jara, Aranguiz, Dias
It promised to be a big one, and it was. So far this World Cup, Chile were impressive in group B, while the general consensus of Brazil is that there was much room for improvement. I wish I could say it was a fair showing, but I felt Brazil were out performed by a length, fortunately with a bit of luck, they managed to pull off a win on penalties.
Barcelona teammates Neymar, Dani Alves and Alexis Sanchez were all hugs in the tunnel before the game, a good sign for Barca fans. It was touted as “Neymar vs Alexis” but it turned out to be “Bravo vs Cesar.” Brazil looked shaky from kick-off, conceding 2 free kicks in quick succession. A Brazil corner in 4th minute skilted over the box and found Marcelo, whose shot was just a little too wide. Within minutes Chile’s Dias mustered a similar effort on the other end. There seemed to be some concern regarding Neymar – a copious amount of magic spray was needed within the first quarter of the match and he looked uncomfortable and ill at ease the whole game, obviously harbouring an injury. A few good runs were produced by both sides showing both teams intent. A neymar corner found the top of Oscar’s head who dropped it to David Luiz, who, after it was chipped in, claimed it. On closer inspection, it was shown to be an own goal by Jara. The Brazilian defense was none the better, a while later Alexis found himself in the penalty area, with no defender on him, plenty of space and all the time in the world – he’s obviously going to score that one.
In the second half, Hulk scored a goal but a bold decision by Howard Webb had the goal disallowed for a handball, and Hulk booked. As the game bore on, the Chileans confidence mounted while the Brazilian’s seemed to dip. Jo was substituted for Fred – but they both played as bad as their names sound. A studs up tackle by Jo on Bravo saw him booked, but he was lucky to not have been sent off. After 90 minutes the scoreline was still 1-1. Extra time followed in which Hulk made a few far range shots that were either too wide or too high. In the dying minutes of Extra time Pinilla had a good chance but the Brazilians were saved by the woodwork. Penalties were as nerve wrecking as ever. Bravo saved Hulk’s attempt and Jo, in summary of his whole game, missed. Julio Cesar saved Pinilla’s, Alexis Sanchez & Jara missed his shot which meant Brazil were through (3-2 on penalties)- but just by the skin of their teeth.
— Getty Images Sport (@GettySport) June 28, 2014