World Cup 2014: Can Brazil stop Rodriguez's run?

Fortaleza (Brazil), July 4: Hosts Brazil will be under pressure to defeat Colombia, one of the best sides in the 2014 Fifa World Cup, in the quarter-finals here on Friday.

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Brazil, who are looking for their sixth crown, beat Chile 3-2 in the penalty shootouts in the Round of 16 but their performance left much to be desired. The fitness of Neymar (4 goals so far) and the presence of the free-scoring midfielder named James Rodriguez in the Colombian side will give Luiz Felipe Scolari a worrying few hours ahead of the tie.


The Brazilian players faced criticism from their fans and former players like Zico after their hard-earned win against Chile. Zico said that the team lacked a proper game plan and it resorted to long balls to Neymar. Scolari, though, took such criticism in stride and hoped to see an improvement in the next match.

Apart from Neymar's thigh injury (though he is certain to begin), Scolari will also have to think over the selection in the midfield as Luiz Gustavo stands suspended after being booked against Chile. He is likely to be replaced by Ramires.

Colombia, on the other hand, are looking a side which is enjoying its every bit in this World Cup, their best ever till date, and will aim to make their first ever semifinals. They have won all the four matches they have played so far and have scored 11 goals while conceding just two. Rodriguez has scored five of those and is leading the race for the Golden Boots at the moment.

Colombia, however, have won just two of their 25 matches against Brazil with the last one happening 23 years ago, when Rodriguez was not even born.

Brazil, on the other hand, had some of the most crushing victories over Colombia. They had won one match 9-0 in 1957, 6-2 in 1969 and 6-0 in 1977. The last four games between these two sides have ended in draw. Brazil haven't lost a match on their home soil since 1975.

These two sides have never met at the World Cup.

Brazil were knocked out of the World Cup in the quarterfinals in the last editions (by France in 2006 and the Netherlands in 2010) and will be desperate to script a different story this time. They had last won the World Cup in 2002. Scolari was the coach in that edition as well.

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