When one thinks of Brazil football, they like to think silky skills, one-twos, free flowing football and the like. When one sees a fixture of hosts Brazil vs. the young and pacy side of Colombia, one would have to expect a game of great skill, speed and excitement. Unfortunately, one would be mistaken.
With an early defensive mistake of not picking up Thiago Silva from an early corner resulted in an early Brazil lead, the game was killed, you guessed it, fairly early on.
Brazil resort to dirty tactics
After Columbia's eighth minute kick off, the Brazil team made it their mission, with instructions from Scolari no doubt, to break down every attack by the Colombians early up the pitch, not so much by high pressing, but by kicking the life out of the men in red every time a counter-attacking breakaway beckoned.
The game ended with a total of over 53 fouls, yet only a questionable four yellow cards. Despite the late excitement of David Luiz's 35-yard free kick securing Brazil's lead, and James Rodriguez getting one back from the penalty spot with 11 minutes to go, the game even then didn't get a whole lot more lively, with fouls aplenty, and any potential flow to the game suffocated by malicious tackles and poor refereeing.
Good game ruined
Had the referee not misplaced his cards, the game could have possibly been an actual decent showing of football, one that some would come to expect from a quarter-final in the biggest stage in world football. Brazil however were encouraged by referee's lack of involvement, nor wanting to do anything about the flying boots and obvious nasty intent of the men in yellow. They were given no reason to stop their tactics due to no cards being brandished.
Manager Scolari admits to not caring about "winning ugly", and the cries of Columbians for bad officiating go unheard by FIFA officials, who are more interested in the case of Juan Zuniga, who admittedly did commit a terrible foul on Brazil's star Neymar, leaving him out for 3-6 weeks, and of course out of the crucial semi-final clash with the Germans. Also sitting out this game is Thiago Silva, who received his second yellow of the competition against Columbia.
Brazil's tactics have worked so far, but could one really expect them to go Neymar and Silva-less against the ever-efficient Germans and come out victorious? The Brazilians haven't made a good name for themselves so most of the world watching on would probably hope not.
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