Photo: David Luiz celebrates goal against Colombia (Getty Images)
In the blockbuster clash of the quarter-finals of the World Cup, new Paris Saint Germain defender David Luiz proved his worth for Brazil as he hit a wonderful free kick from about 35 yards to seal a place in the last four. The big-haired Brazilian who was a cult hero during his time at Chelsea produced one of his trademark free kicks on the big stage and it couldn't have come at a better time putting the Selecao 2-0 up after Thiago Silva had given them an early lead. James Rodriguez scored from the spot but it wasn't enough for Colombia to avoid defeat.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's men settled quickly and wasted no time to get on the front foot. They were rewarded for their early dominance in the 7th minute when Silva managed to convert from Neymar's corner. The ball was whipped into the box and the PSG man popped up from behind Carlos Sanchez to bundle the ball over the line. It was poor defending from an impressive Colombian defense and a very bad goal to concede. Colombia tried to respond right away but Fredy Guarin fired high and wide from outside the penalty area in the 11th minute.
James Rodriguez was struggling to get into the game because every time he received the ball Fernandinho was onto him in a flash giving him a rough time and not letting him get too many touches. David Ospina made an excellent save on 20 minutes to deny Hulk after the Zenit man was played through on goal by Neymar. Two minutes later however Colombia wasted an opportunity on the counter attack when they had 4 against 2. Juan Cuadrado failed to pick a pass with just Thiago Silva to beat and he had Rodriguez and Teofilo Gutierrez free in the penalty area.
Ospina denied Hulk again on 28 minutes diving low to his left to beat away a powerful effort. Three minutes later David Luiz dribbled out of defense and did well down the right side but he was stopped in his tracks by Cristian Zapata. Colombia then started to find their attacking form but failed to get a good look at goal. Neymar almost caught out Ospina on 44 minutes but his curling left footed effort went just wide and Brazil went into the dressing room with the 1-0 advantage.
Jose Pekerman replaced an ineffective Victor Ibarbo at half time with Adrian Ramos and the Colombians seemed more dangerous. Rodriguez managed to make space for himself and passed wide to Cuadrado but the cross back towards the Monaco star was cleared by Julio Cesar on 50 minutes. Guarin should have done better in the 59th minute when his shot from 20 yards went wide following some good work from Pablo Armero down the left. Colombia had the ball in the back of the net on 66 minutes but it was ruled out after a scramble in the penalty area.
David Luiz produced the moment of the game on 69 minutes when his free kick dipped and swerved then found the back of the net off the finger tips of Ospina making it 2-0. Colombia made it interesting in the 78th minute when they won a penalty as Cesar brought down substitute Carlos Bacca who was played through by Rodriguez. The 22 year old then notched his 6th goal of the tournament from the spot on 80 minutes sending Cesar the wrong way. Brazil was now defending in an erratic manner with panic setting in as they tried to get over the line.
In the 88th minute a moment of worry arose for Scolari when Neymar went down under a challenge from Juan Camilio Zuniga. Replays showed that Zuniga's knee collided into the back of Neymar who had to be stretchered off. In the third minute of stoppage Colombia had a corner but Ramos rose to head the ball over the bar and that was the end of their chances. Brazil had advanced to the semi-final sending their fans in wild celebrations while James Rodriguez was brought to tears as his World Cup dreams had ended.