As the final whistle went, a nation stirred. A nation roared. A nation believed. Brazil beat Colombia in a thoroughly gripping game on Friday, one which saw both moments of pure quality and pure steel.
The game was brought to life as early as the 7th minute, when Brazil captain Thiago Silva bundled the ball in from Neymar's corner to give us lift off. What followed was not necessarily the Brazil we have all come to expect, that is of silky skills and creative genius.
It was a performance of determination and grit, as wave after wave of Colombia attack was met by crunching Brazilian tackles, which in turn were treated like goals by the crowd.
It was a sublime moment which gave Brazil the breathing space they ended up needing. A dubious free-kick was awarded for a foul by James Rodriguez, Colombia's star man, and up stepped David Luiz.
The soon-to-be PSG man let fly with a thunderous strike from all of 30 yards which beat David Ospina all ends up. The ecstasy on his face said it all. The stakes have never been higher for a Brazilian team in a World Cup and they are delivering when it matters most.
It was Rodriguez who ended up getting Colombia back into the game, a deft through ball into the path of Carlos Bacca resulting in a penalty as he was brought down by Julio Cesar. Rodriguez, as he has done all tournament, stepped up for his country and calmly sent the 'keeper the wrong way.
A pulsating last ten minutes saw Brazil do everything to clear their lines and ultimately it proved enough as they held out for a 2-1 win and progressed to the World Cup semi-finals.
Rodriguez broke down in tears at the final whistle as he was consoled by the Brazil players who had offered him none of that compassion during a tumultuous match full of niggling fouls which went unpunished by the referee.
Brazil and their supporters, in contrast, went wild with elation at the final whistle. The goal of reaching the final - and making up for the 1950 World Cup loss to Uruguay in Rio that is still one of this nation's darkest sporting days - lives on.
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