Brazil defeated Chile on penalty kicks to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
After a tense 1-1 game and 30 minutes of scoreless extra time in Belo Horizonte, the World Cup match went to penalty kicks to decide the winner between Brazil and Chile.
In an advertisement from both teams of how not to take penalty kicks, Chile was able to pull the penalty kick score back to 2-2 after missing earlier chances. But Neymar made it 3-2, before Gonzalo Jaro missed the final penalty kick of the game, sending Brazil through to the next round to play the winner of Colombia against Uruguay.
Qualification from the group stages was anything but convincing for the hosts as they struggled against Croatia, could not break down a resolute Mexican side, and dismantled a very poor Cameroon team. The real test began today as they took on Chile in the first of the Round of 16 matches.
Although they suffered defeat at the hands of the Dutch, Chile made their intentions in the competition very clear as they scored wins against the pre-tournament lowest and highest ranked teams to qualify for the second round.
Both teams were looking to win and progress to play either Colombia or a Suarez-less Uruguay in the Quarter-Finals. Emotions were high as both the Chilean and Brazilian national anthems continued after the music ended. The game kicked off and both sides took cautious steps to assert their position in the game. Both sides had early shouts for penalties, the Brazilian claims seemed more founded, but Howard Webb was having none of it.
The breakthrough for Brazil came in the 18th minute after a series of set pieces demonstrated the Chilean frailties in the air. Neymar took the corner with Thiago Silva getting a solid header towards goal which was eventually turned in by David Luiz, though Chilean defender Jara looked like he might have had the last touch.
Chances at both ends were easily dealt with, but for the first time in the game Chile were creating more in Brazil’s half. From a seemingly simple Brazil throw-in almost in their own corner, Vargas pounced on a soft pass to unleash Alexis Sanchez who picked his spot and showed his quality with a very cool finish in the 32nd minute.
Brazil asserted their dominance in the remainder of the first half, having the best of the chances with Neymar and Fred missing golden opportunities to take the lead again. A thumping shot 25 yards out from Dani Alves almost caught Bravo out, and he had to make an acrobatic save to push it over the crossbar.
The second half started brightly with both teams playing fast-flowing football. Ten minutes into the second forty-five Howard Webb was forced to make a controversial decision to disallow what looked like a legitimate goal for Brazil. Hulk took the ball down with his shoulder and placed the ball in the far corner leaving the Chilean goalie and defenders with no chance. The take-down was deemed to have come off of Hulk’s arm and he was shown the yellow card for his troubles.
While the Brazilians continued to protest the decision they seemed to lose concentration which allowed the Chileans to take more control of the game. The Chile attack climaxed in a stinging shot from Aranguiz which the Brazilian keeper did exceptionally well to keep out. Two attacking substitutions, one from each team, saw Vargas and Fred making way respectively to Gutierrez and Jo.
As the game approached the midpoint of the second half the balance of the game began to tip slightly in favor of the visitors, Chile were now finding more space in the middle of the field to dictate the game. Another substitution saw Chelsea midfielder Ramires replace the Manchester City playmaker Fernandinho.
The Brazilian changes appeared to make a difference as a patient Brazil move saw substitute Jo open to miss a wonderful opportunity to get the hosts ahead again. Jo lay face-down knowing he missed what would be a costly opportunity.
As the clock ticked past the 80-minute mark the Brazil XI looked increasingly more frustrated as the Chileans absorbed all that came in their half. Another chance for Neymar that was easily saved by Bravo increased the frustration. An inspiring run and driving shot by Ramires required yet another acrobatic save from the Chile goalie. It was not looking like Brazil’s day.
The pace in the last of the regulation 90 minutes indicated that neither team was desperate to put the game to bed. Chile lacked determination going forward, and Brazil’s frustration unsettled any attempt they made to play in their opponent’s half. When the end of regulation time was whistled both teams walked to their dugouts almost relieved for a break.
The high-tempo from the first half returned for the first period of extra time. Brazil attacked again with more purpose, willed forward by the relentless home crowd. The bite was taken out of the attack for a while, however, as Jo was booked for what at first look seemed a very nasty challenge on Bravo in goal. Another look showed the Chilean goalie didn’t half milk it. Either way the referee felt it merited a yellow card for the striker.
Chile never looked threatening in the first fifteen minutes of added time, and never looked like taking the game to Brazil. They looked more intent on disrupting Brazil’s rhythm rather than playing the dynamic game we enjoyed in the group stages. Their approach was succinctly summed up in a very cynical challenge by Chile substitute Pinilla on David Luiz, which earned him a yellow card.
Another missed chance for Jo at the start of the last fifteen minutes before penalties added to the tension in the game. One mistake for either side at this point would be devastating, and would surely cost their side a place in the next round. Defender Gary Medel was carried off injured and replaced by Rojas for the end of open play.
With ten minutes remaining, Chile took every opportunity to run down the clock. It was disappointing to see a team with such promise in the group stages now playing for penalties. On the other hand, try as Brazil might, they just did not seem capable of avoiding the dreaded shootout.
With five minutes remaining, the Brazilians pitched their tents in the Chile half, probing and attempting to find a breakthrough. Meanwhile, Chile absorbed the hosts with great efficiency. With penalties approaching Chile looked quite happy to let the Brazilians come. The danger for Brazil was that this Chile team knows how to counter-attack. This is indeed what they did with 120 minutes on the clock Pinilla fired a belter that rebounded off the crossbar. Moments later Ramires fired a good shot shy of the left post. With honors still even at the final whistle, we went to penalties.
The tears on Julio Cesar’s face before the shoot-out even began was an apt picture of the emotion in this game.
Brazil won the penalty kick shootout after Jara’s attempt hit the post. The crowd went wild. It’s despair for a very brave Chile team, while the party in Brazil continues.
Watch the match highlights here: