Pride and sorrow for tearful Rodriguez as Colombia exit
By Elzio Barreto
FORTALEZA Brazil (Reuters) - Colombia were not helped by the decision-making of referee Carlos Velasco Carballo, tearful playmaker James Rodriguez said after their World Cup quarter-final defeat by Brazil on Friday.
"I'm crying because we gave everything. Unfortunately, the referee didn't help much. Brazil is a good team but we gave everything so we are calm. We wanted to carry on, but we hold our heads high. Thank you Colombia," said Rodriguez, the tournament's leading scorer with six goals.
"We fulfilled all the dreams we had ... It's a shame we have to go."
Brazil, leading 2-0 after defender David Luiz's stunning 69th minute free kick, appeared to be cruising into the semi-finals.
But Colombia, who have charmed the neutrals with their attacking soccer and carefree attitude, came roaring back and scored from the penalty spot after Brazil keeper Julio Cesar brought down Carlos Bacca.
Rodriguez took the responsibility for the spot kick, netting his sixth goal of the World Cup, but there will be no more at this tournament after Brazil clung on for a 2-1 victory.
Many observers felt Rodriguez was not given sufficient protection after he was fouled repeatedly, and questioned the Spanish referee's decision to brandish a yellow card, not a red, at Cesar for the foul.
Veteran Colombia captain Mario Yepes also had a goal disallowed for offside in the 66th minute, and Rodriguez was shown a yellow card shortly afterwards. Continued...