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2014.07.05 Saturday,the lightly rain turn to heavy shower  

2014-07-05 10:58:04|  分类: English Daily |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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jjhreoss@163.com - 完美转身 - 完美转身的博客


Colombia's James Rodriguez scores a second-half penalty against Brazil during a World Cup quarterfinal match Friday, July 4, in Fortaleza, Brazil. But Brazil held on to win 2-1 and advance to the semifinals.

There were goals, there was choreographed(精心设计的;刻意安排的) dancing, there were moments of great footballing beauty, but Colombia -- one of the teams to excite most at this thrilling World Cup finals -- is going home after Friday's quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Brazil in Fortaleza.

·                                 Strikes from the center-back pairing of captain Thiago Silva and David Luiz put Brazil into an unassailable(adj. 不容置疑的;无懈可击的) lead and, despite a late penalty by James Rodriguez, the tournament host held on to win 2-1.

There was concern, however, for Brazil's star striker Neymar, who was stretchered( 用担架抬) off in what seemed like considerable pain in the game's closing moments.

The result marks the first time Brazil has reached the semifinal stage since winning the title in Japan and South Korea in 2002, and sets up an intriguing(激发人兴趣的) clash against Germany on Tuesday -- a repeat of that year's final.

"I think Neymar won't be able to play," coach Luiz Felipe Scolari told reporters after the game. "If we are able to beat Germany it might be he can play in the final.

"He has been sent to a private clinic for a serious of exams as he was kneed on his lower back腰背部 and was crying out with pain. I can guarantee it won't be easy for him to recover based on what the doctor told us and the pain he is in."

A nation sighs with relief as Brazil ends hopes of the neutrals' favorite team.


In the sweaty evening heat of the Estadio Castelao, however, it was another pair of defenders who were the unlikely heroes.


Silva opened the scoring after seven minutes, tucking home a Neymar corner with his knee, and the Paris Saint-Germain star was then in thick of it once more at the other end moments later, blocking a shot from Juan Cuadrado.

Silva was criticized heavily after apparently refusing to take the sixth penalty in Brazil's round of 16 shootout victory over Chile last Saturday.

He was all action here, however. Marshaling the back line and flying into tackles when required.

But a yellow card midway through the second half means he will be suspended and miss the semifinal.

The Colombia players composed themselves as the first half progressed, coming more into the game despite the rough-house treatment handed out to star player James Rodriguez.

On at least four occasions the Monaco star was subject to the stray boot of Brazil's midfield enforcer Fernandinho.


Still, the home team continued to have the better chances.


Hulk and Fred came close with a snap-shot that Colombia keeper David Ospina palmed away and a header that flashed over respectively.


The second half commenced at a far slower pace and there was little of note until Silva was booked for blocking a kick out from Ospina.


Colombia did have the ball in the net after 66 minutes as Mario Yepes bundled the ball over the line after a scramble in the Brazilian box. But a linesman's offside flag cut short the nascent celebrations.


Moments later there was a goal, although it was to come at the other end.



jjhreoss@163.com - 完美转身 - 完美转身的博客


jjhreoss@163.com - 完美转身 - 完美转身的博客


jjhreoss@163.com - 完美转身 - 完美转身的博客


jjhreoss@163.com - 完美转身 - 完美转身的博客


jjhreoss@163.com - 完美转身 - 完美转身的博客


It was a remarkable strike that dipped and swerved as it arrowed into the top corner of the net.


There seemed no way back for Colombia now. But "Los Cafeteros" were handed a lifeline with 12 minutes to go after goalkeeper Julio Cesar scythed down substitute Carlos Bacca.


Rodriguez did the honors from the penalty spot, sending Cesar the wrong way to score his sixth goal of the tournament -- two more than closest rivals Neymar, Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller.


All of a sudden, the game was back on. Colombia pressed and threw caution to the wind with Yepes playing as an auxiliary striker.


But when one final corner kick delivery drifted beyond Cesar's goal in the 95th minute there was time left for little else.


Scolari's side has now overcome the barrier that has proved too high at the last two World Cup tournaments.


However, Brazil has not yet looked like a team certain to become world champion for a record-extending sixth time -- as its demanding public expects -- despite having world-class talents like Neymar, Silva and Oscar.


Yet somehow they find themselves only a game away from next Sunday's final.


Stuttering performances and the occasional stroke of good fortune against Croatia and Mexico in the group stages and once more against Chile has hardly inspired confidence in "A Selecao."


Poor showings from the likes of strikers Hulk and Fred have been singled out for particular scorn, although the former put in a solid performance against Colombia.


Much was also made in the Brazilian media of 2002's winning coach Scolari -- a man who prides himself on being a father figure to his players -- bringing in a psychologist to speak to his team after many broke down in tears during the national anthems and once again after the dramatic penalty kicks victory over Chile.


Was this team soft and mentally weak? Are the expectations of 200 million football-mad Brazilians proving oppressive and too much to bear?


"Big Phil" truculently replied earlier this week that journalists who didn't like his methods could "go to hell."


Whether said reporters took heed or not, surely lack of maturity is not an accusation that can be leveled against Brazil now.


The men in yellow were nothing if not committed, controlled and tactically astute, biting into tackles and closing down with an intensity that ruffled their opponents.


Several gestured towards the crowd throughout the contest to increase the noise and crank up the pressure.

Jose Pekerman's team has played with a style and confidence throughout the tournament that has been a joy to watch for neutral observers.


The delight the entire squad takes in their choreographed dancing celebrations, meanwhile, speaks to the relaxed vibe created by the coach, previously a World Cup quarterfinalist with his native Argentina in 2006.




Brazil's Julio Cesar: Brazil has to win


Need a World Cup buddy? Rent one Tellingly, however, Colombia has only ever beaten Brazil twice and never in Brazil -- a run that extends all the way back to 1945 and the formative years of the Copa America.


That record will now last at least until the two sides meet next in qualification for the next World Cup in the coming years.


Still, today's Colombia players will be heading back homes as heroes, the bright hope of a new generation as the country itself moves on from a dark past.


It was 20 years ago this week that defender Andres Escobar was murdered in Medellin upon returning from the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. where he scored a cruel own-goal.


Thankfully, those dark days are largely gone and Colombian hopes will be high when the campaign for Russia 2018 begins.


Brazil, however, is still involved in 2014 and will be going to the semifinals in Belo Horizonte.



It's a demon buried deep within the French psyche -- a demon which refuses to be exorcized.


A word which brings shivers down the spine and strikes a fear into the heart of the country's football fans.

In Rio de Janeiro, the ghosts of years past haunted France again -- the "Angstgegner" returned.


jjhreoss@163.com - 完美转身 - 完美转身的博客


Germany, the "bogey team" as it is known in France, wrote another painful chapter into Les Bleus' World Cup history on Friday.

1-0 victory secured Germany's place in the semifinals for a record fourth consecutive tournament.

But unlike in 1982 and 1986, when Germany defeated the French in the last four on both occasions, this was not a battle of epic proportions.

There was not the drama, nor the controversy -- but the end result was the same.

Mats Hummels' 12th-minute goal gave Germany a lead it never looked like relinquishing against a French side which flattered to deceive.

In fact, it was almost an apologetic exit from Didier Deschamps' players -- so disappointing after the team's encouraging performances in the group stage.

At a tournament where there have been so many surprises, perhaps it was reassuring that there remains one constant.

Joachim Low's side will now face host nation Brazil -- which beat Colombia -- in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday, while France returns home pondering what might have been.

The tears flowed for those draped in blue -- this was supposed to be the day where France finally gained revenge.

Some 32 years may have passed since the two countries met at the 1982 World Cup, but the painful memories remain.

At the time, France's World Cup hopes were in the balance with the game at 1-1 when Patrick Battiston ran on to meet Michel Platini's pass.

As the final whistle blew, heads fell, tears followed and French players were left with an all too familiar feeling -- the "Angstgegner" had struck again.


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