FORTALEZA, Brazil, (Reuters) – A stunning second-half free kick from Brazil’s David Luiz sealed a 2-1 win over Colombia in a frantic World Cup quarter-final today, keeping the hosts on track for a sixth world title.
Captain Thiago Silva bundled in Neymar’s corner at the back post to put the hosts ahead in the seventh minute before Luiz thundered home a dipping 30-metres free kick midway through the second half at the Castelao arena.
Colombia had a goal disallowed before in-form James Rodriguez dragged his side back into the match from the penalty spot with just over 10 minutes remaining, his sixth goal of the tournament.
After the drama of a penalty shootout win over Chile in the last 16, Brazil came out firing on all cylinders and dominated the first half.
Neymar was a constant threat on the left while the powerful running of Hulk kept the Colombian defence on the back foot.
Rodriguez came in for some rough treatment from Fernandinho but overall Brazil shackled the tournament’s top scorer well.
Brazil captain Thiago Silva savoured the opening goal but rued the fact that his yellow card will keep him out of the semi-final.
“I am emotional because I give the team my heart and soul,” he said in a televised interview. “I am out the next game but Dante and Henrique can play well and fill my absence.”
Brazil forward Neymar was carried off on a stretcher in the closing stages but the hosts hung on to set up a semi-final against Germany, who beat France 1-0 earlier on Friday in Rio de Janeiro.