Saturday, 02 Mar, 2024


One step closer to dreams

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2014-06-28 20:54:00
One step closer to dreams

Brrazil 4 [(1 +3 (Penalty Shootout) : Chile 3 [ ( 1 +2 ( Penalty Shootout)]

Brazil’s Hexa mission survived hot Chilean challenge. It was a keenly contested match where there was hardly little to choose Brazil managed to knock Chile out of the World Cup. Chile fought so well but as luck would have it had to leave the arena .Luck broke for the host in the lottery of penalty shootout.

Brazil scored 3 in penalty shootout while Chile could manage only 2. Thereby losing 4-3 in aggregate. Brazil went one step closer to dream but only just.

Brazil proved better and luckier side in the battle of the giants and managed to knock out one the better playing teams Chile in the penalty shootout in an evenly matched lively match. The two sides were locked 1-1 in normal time plus 30 minutes extra time. David Luiz put Brazil ahead and Sanchez equalized. The match rolled to penalty shootout as the deadlock could not be broken in 90+30 = 120 minutes .After the fourth penalty shots it was 2-2.

Cesar saved two. Brazil struck one outside the post and other bravo saved. Pin up boy Neymar kept his cool scoring off the all-important 5 Th penalty while Jara struck the side post. Brave Chile got knocked out. Chile lost but could leave the stage with heads high. They produced brave and brilliant football. Had it not been Brazil which came their way they could go much deeper. Brazil looked better side. But Chile stretched them to their limits. Penalty shootout is always a gamble where anyone can lose.

Chile had all the elements to go deeper in the tournament. But unfortunately they were up against a team which is on a mission. Playing Brazil anywhere in the world presents a unique challenge and playing them on a backyard requires divine blessings apart from football skills. Chile just did not have that. Everyone was expecting an exciting game with plenty of chances, continuing the entertaining football that the world had seen over the last few weeks. The neutral lovers would love to see Chile progress because of the way they played but they were up against a team which is walking on the path of dream .Brazil really has to thank all mighty who showered His blessings on them.

Brazil weren’t fantastic in the qualifying round yet the finished on top of their group wining against Croatia and Cameroon and getting a draw with Mexico. Having finished first in the group, Brazil did not have to play the in-form Dutch team but given choice Brazil would even have preferred playing Netherland rather than Chile having impressed in Group B in beating current World Champions Spain in the process.

Neymar had undoubtedly been the main man for the Samba Boys in this World Cup. There was much anticipation and excitement for the Barcelona man to perform at his best after giving the Brazil crowd a glimpse of his talent in the Confederations Cup last year. Well he hasn’t let the Brazilian faithful down with his goals being crucial to his team’s passage into the last 16. Chile was wary of giving the 22-year-old too much space in much of goal because more than likely, they will be punished.

Although they ended second in the group with a defeat against Netherlands, Chile had been excellent in terms of their football and team spirit. The Chileans based their play on quick and precise movement, with the smaller and skilful players being able to express themselves. Vargas, Sanchez and Diaz had all impressed and demonstrated their fluency in the final third whilst being protected by a warrior-like Arturo Vidal in the middle. Cardiff City’s Gary Medel had been solid at the back for Chile as had most of the team..

Sanchez had been Chile’s equivalent to Neymar in the tournament so far and was finally being recognized as a top talent by many around the world. Many had spoken about his bright future and his performances indicated that he started fulfilling his potential.. Scolari rightly pinpointed Sanchez as the key man for Chile entrusting David Luiz and Thiago Silva for keeping their wits about him in the contest.

The gallery took a festive look – a yellow sea with red dots. The noise grew deafening whenever Brzazil ran into Chilean defence. Brazil got off to a strong start and got a corner as early as the fourth minute.

Though the kick was cleared but from free ball Marcelo fired a powerful drive which missed the target.

Chile shut the defence well leaving little room for Neymar to operate. Hulk and Gustavo combined well engineering an ominous looking attack but failed to deliver the final pass. Brazil got a free kick in the business area. Neymar’s curling shot was easily grabbed by Bravo. Suddenly David Luiz scored from a goal mouth melee created from a Brazilian corner at 18th minute giving Brazil the lead 1-0.

Sanchez equalized from the first really threatening Chilean attack when Brazil defence cracked from a well-knit Chilean attack (1-1) 32 rd minute into the match. Silence came in the terrace. The match came to live with both sides relying on long passes sensing the vulnerability of both the defence and trying to give more area to the strikers to operate. David Luiz got another opportunity when Neymar did the spadework.

Bravo saved the Luiz drive for a corner. Neymar started find more space, made some solo dash but Chilean defence could quickly recover to shut the opportunity of final delivery. A counter attack created a half chance for Sanchez which Marcelo and Silva could manage to cut out for a corner. The teams were at half time 1-1. Neymar looked silky and managed to penetrate deep into Chilean territory. He could have been a bit greedier taking strike at the goal instead of get more closer. Bravo made couple of good saves. Brazil made six strikes at Chilean goal against two of Chile. Both the time Brazil defence made school boyish mistakes.

The second started in a slowed down tempo. Both the defence could cut out attacks before these could grow ominous. After 60 th minute match got back momentum. A Brazilian goal was disallowed by the referee when the ball entered the net deflecting of the arm of Hulk in the 53 rd minute.

A long cross caught Chilean defence napping. Chile almost scored in the 64 th minute off a quick move down the left flank. Neymar fell deep and created few opportunities sending some good through balls for Hulk and Oscar. Sanchez and Vidal were creating challenges for Brazil defence every now and then. Brazil almost scored in the 74 th Minute off a long looping cross into Clilean defence which Jo failed to tap in from a hand shaking distance. Brazil started pressing the pedal for the winner and got couple of half chances but failed to capitalize. Full time ended with teams still locked with 1-1. The match entered extra time.

Brazil could argue about the disallowed goal but that was a clear handball .Unfortunately Hulk does not have the hand of God. Brazil looked like scoring with several half chances in the last 15 minutes but Chile successfully diffused the Brazil ball. Cesar also made a good save which easily could provide the knockout punch to Brazil.

Brazil looked more potent in the first half of the extra period with Hulk looking dangerous upfront with some menacing moves. Bravo stood firm saving again and again. First half of extra time failed to break the deadlock. Battle of nerves went on. Chile could keep Brazil away from the winner. Player started getting a bit tired from the atmospheric heat and also from the heat of the contest. Tired legs, stretched muscles in the tensed up situation could create a sudden slump for either team at any stage.

Thanks to Neymar. He could still make solo dash with the ball operating from wider areas. Weary Chileans were looking for holding the Brazilians during the second session of the second half forcing the match to penalty shootout. Brazil pressed very hard for the winner over the last five minutes but failed to break the ice as Chileans defended doggedly. Chile almost got the winner in the 118 th minutes but a powerful drive went way from the target.

Immediately after that Neymar plotted another move but Hulk could not finish.. It was a Sapping, absorbing and fascinating match. Neither side deserved to lose though Brazil looked better side creating more opportunities. Bravo made several good saves. Cesar also made two good saves.

Penalty shootout a real lottery was the final resort .The entire stadium went almost to a pin drop silence with fans inside and billions on TV channels kept their fingers crossed. David Luiz and Brazil started the darma and scored. Cesar kept out the Chilean first penalty. Willan also missed hitting wide. Cesar again saved the second Sanchez try. Marcelo scored making it 2-0 for Brazil. Chile scored the first from the third making it 2-1. Hulk missed with Bravo saving it. Diaz made it 2-2 after each making fourth penalty shootout. In came Neymar making it 3-2. Jara came in to make it count but failed, struck the side post.

Brazil got the smile of lady luck. What a dramatic way to win and horrendous way to lose. Brazil won alright. But they have a genuine problem with number nine. Fred is just not delivering.

Bravo Chile for presenting such a enthralling contest.

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Marcelo, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Daniel Alves, Luiiz Gustavo, Feranadinho (Ramirez), Neymar, Hulk, Oscar & Fred (Joe).

Chile : Caludio Bravo, Gonjalo Jara, Eugenio Mena ,Silva, Gary Medel, Marco Diaz, Arturo Vidal, Mauricio Isle, Eduardo Vergas, Charles Aranaguiz and Alexis Sanchez.

BDST: 0653 HRS, JUNE 29, 2014

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