Brazil edge Chile, Rodriguez rocket launches Colombia

Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:58pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilians rejoiced on Saturday when their nervy team edged past Chile to book a place in the World Cup quarter-finals in a nail-biting penalty shootout, while in the other last 16 game, James Rodriguez scored a stunning volley as Colombia downed Uruguay.

It will be Colombia's first appearance in the last eight, and two goals from Rodriguez, including a spectacular left foot strike from 20 metres, put him ahead of Lionel Messi, Thomas Mueller and Neymar as the tournament's top scorer with five.

Uruguay's exit ended a sorry week for the South Americans, who badly missed their prolific forward Luis Suarez after he was kicked out of the World Cup for biting and banned from any football activity for four months.

For the hosts, it was an afternoon of excruciating tension in Belo Horizonte, where the teams drew 1-1 after extra time before Brazil won the penalty shootout 3-2.

The win leaves them three games away from lifting the World Cup for a sixth time and exorcising the ghosts of defeat in the 1950 final on home soil.

"We took upon ourselves this mission that we must be champions. If you make a promise you must deliver. This is what the players are doing," said coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. "There are three more (games) to see if we can reach heaven."

The celebrations on the pitch and across the country were more in relief than jubilation, after a pulsating match in which both sides attacked at pace but failed to convert their chances once Chile striker Alexis Sanchez had cancelled out David Luiz's opener in the 32nd minute.


Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar dives as the decisive penalty shot by Chile's Gonzalo Jara hits the goalpost in the penalty shootout during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte   REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger