Brazil without captain as nation awaits Germany clash

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Brazil will be without captain Thiago Silva for their World Cup semi-final against Germany after FIFA yesterday rejected an appeal against his yellow card, denting home hopes of lifting the trophy for the sixth time.

The hosts were already missing their most talented player, injured striker Neymar, but coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said his side had absorbed the disappointment of his absence and were looking forward to today’s match in Belo Horizonte.

“The team will miss the way he plays, the happiness. I’m sure that tomorrow they will play for Neymar, but also for themselves and, above all, for the goal of the whole group – to qualify for the final,” he told reporters.

“He has done his share, now it’s up to us, myself, Thiago, the others and all the Brazilian people. This is the match where we are playing for everything we dreamed of, for each and every one of us, and for Neymar.”

Latin American fans are hoping Brazil meet their arch-rivals Argentina in soccer’s biggest showcase at the Maracana stadium, but the Netherlands and Germany stand in their way as four heavyweight teams slug it out in the semi-finals.

First up are Brazil, who have yet to shine at a tournament in which they are feeling the weight of 200 million people’s expectations on their shoulders.

Anything but winning the World Cup on home soil would be a national catastrophe, even though Brazil have won the trophy five times, more than any other nation.

When Colombia defender Juan Zuniga clattered into Neymar with his knee in the quarter-finals, breaking a bone in his back, there was a mixture of shock and anger among Brazilians who knew the injury was a major setback to their chances.

FIFA ruled yesterday that Zuniga would not be punished for the challenge, because rules prevent the ruling body from revisiting an incident that is dealt with by the referee on the pitch.

Thiago Silva, however, was still fuming.

“In my opinion, it was a cowardly tackle,” the suspended captain said. “I am a defender and you don’t do that. There’s no way you put a knee behind a player to get a ball in front, unless you want to cause a certain situation.”

 

“LITTLE ARTISTRY LEFT”

Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva

The foul was one of 54 committed during a highly physical match, yet only four yellow cards were shown by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo who was widely criticised for losing control of the game and allowing players to become increasingly violent.

Nevertheless, he is among the 15 teams of referees and linesmen asked to stay for the semi-finals and final, along with Japan’s Yuichi Nishimura who infuriated Croatia in the opening match by awarding a soft penalty to Brazil with the scores level at 1-1.

The hosts went on to win 3-1, Neymar scoring twice.

FIFA rejected a German newspaper allegation that referees had been instructed to hold off awarding yellow cards.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has urged match officials to intervene if Brazil play rough against Germany.

“There’s precious little left of that traditional Brazilian style of soccer, that artistic style of playing that we all know so well,” Loew said.

“For sure, Brazil still have good technical players. But they’re playing more robustly than any other team here and they have been trying to break up their opponents’ attack that way.

“At the end of the day it’s up to the referee to come up with the correct punishment,” Loew said.

Germany will not go into the game unprepared.

No European team has won one of the previous six World Cups in Latin America, and assistant coach Hansi Flick said Germany been studying a giant data base collected by a team of about 50 students at Cologne’s sport university for the last two years.

That information, combined with scouting reports, has been used for detailed analyses of Brazil and their players.

“We’re very, very well-prepared and we’re looking forward to playing Brazil,” Flick told reporters when asked about how Germany planned to end the dominance of Latin American teams when playing in their own region.

“We’ve been working on this project for the last two years and our entire system has been built up for that.”

Germany are undefeated in Brazil but have not faced a Latin American team yet. Their four wins were against Portugal, the United States, Algeria and France with a draw against Ghana.

More in Sports

Omar Brewley (left) of Wismar/Christianburg in the process of receiving a pass while being pursued by several players from Sir Leon Lessons during their semi-final fixture at the Leonora Sports Facility in the Digicel Schools Football Championship.

Wismar/Christianburg, Chase Academy set up rematch

A 90th+3 minute penalty kick conversion from Omar Brewley propelled four time defending champions Wismar/ Christianburg to their sixth consecutive final edging Sir Leon Lessons 2-1 in the semi-final of the Digicel Schools Football Championships yesterday.

default placeholder

Hooper nets hat trick as GCC Vintage muzzle Pitbulls

Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) Vintage and Pizza Hut GCC secured hard-fought wins when the Lucozade Indoor Hockey Championship continued on Tuesday at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue.

default placeholder

In honour of a legend turned 80

Long before the advent of batting armor like helmets and chest pads, and before the glamour of color coordinated cricket gear, a gifted 16-year- old schoolboy named Garfield St.

Phil Simmons

Simmons promises team will bounce back

West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons is positive that the team can bounce back from the innings and 92-run defeat in the opening Test match against India.

Juvenile cycle champion Zaman Khan’s (left) sojourn to the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships was made possible by Steven Edwards (right). Coach of the team Randolph Roberts is pictured at centre. 

Roberts expresses confidence in cyclists

On the eve of the departure of the national junior cycling team to St Lucia, coach of the formidable five-man unit, Randolph Roberts yesterday expressed confidence in the young cyclists.

default placeholder

Guyana U15s dismiss J/ca for 108

Guyana U15s made a promising start to the West Indies Cricket Board’s limited overs round robin competition dismissing the Windward Islands for 108 in their first round encounter at Progress Park,Grenada.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: