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Brazil enter World Cup semifinal without main striker, Germany overpower France

July 05, 2014, 7:09 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO
The two other quarterfinals are due on Saturday and overnight to Sunday. In Brasilia, Argentina plays Belgium, and four hours later, the Netherlands confronts Costa Rica in Salvador
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RIO DE JANEIRO, July 05, /ITAR-TASS/. Brazil’s hard-earned quarterfinal win over Colombia at the cost of the loss of their captain Thiago Silva and best scorer Neymar and Germany’s classic German-style victory over France were the top events on the 23rd day of the 2014 World Football Cup, which has resumed after a two-day break.

Germany were the first to learn they were moving on. Before their standoff with France at the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro specialists were unanimous the rivals were absolute equals in strength and class. Everybody was forecasting a really tough and dramatic tough encounter. In reality, Germany’s potential proved far greater.

Germany made a very good start to score in the 13th minute. After Toni Kroos’s free kick Mats Hummels’s header put the German squad in the lead 1:0. Miroslav Klose had a very good chance to become the best scorer in the history of world cups, but his attempt at a one-on-one duel with Hugo Lloris was upset by a French defender. It looked pretty much like a penalty foul, but the referee ruled otherwise. Germany left their rivals literally no chance to have qualified for the semi-finals. Their advantage looked comfortable and repeatedly brought to mind the German machine of the 1970s and 1980s. Who will contest the main prize will be decided in Germany’s encounter with Brazil, who managed to attain victory at far higher costs.

Brazil played Colombia in Fortaleza a short while later. The hosts managed to score a fast goal six minutes after the starting whistle. Colombia gained strength toward the middle of the first half to mount several good attacks, but the score remained unchanged before halftime. In the second half Colombia looked far more mobilized and aggressive, while Brazil were doing their best to be disciplined and fight back. After Brazil’s foul in the opponents’ box the referee stopped play but Thiago Silva, apparently unaware of the whistle due the noise, kicked the ball to get his second booking at this championship and disqualification for the semi-final.

Minutes later the Colombians scored an equalizer only to see it called off due to off-side. In the 70th minute defender David Luiz’s mighty free kick from about 30 metres doubled Brazil’s advantage. The outcome looked settled, but Colombia was determined to fight to the bitter end. Ten minutes later Colombia earned a penalty kick and James Rodriguez minimized the hosts’ advantage and lay claim to the title of this cup’s best scorer, for one of his main rivals in that respect, Neymar, has played his last at the tournament.

Minutes before the final whistle Neymar suffered an injury that would promptly appear serious enough. Colombian Juan Suniga’s knee had rammed into the lower part of his back. For this rudeness the abuser received only a verbal warning. Neymar had to be carried away on stretchers and taken to a nearly hospital. The doctors said he had a spine injury that would take a month or two to heal.

Brazil managed to take the match to a successful 2-1 outcome and in the semi-final will play Germany, who are eager to avenge their loss in the 2002 World Cup.

The two other quarterfinals are due on Saturday and overnight to Sunday. In Brasilia, Argentina plays Belgium, and four hours later, the Netherlands confronts Costa Rica in Salvador.

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