Brazil barely survived a difficult Round of 16 matchup with Chile on Saturday, winning 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the match ended 1-1 to advance to the quarter-finals.
Neymar scored the winning goal in the shootout, and Julio Cesar made two stops for Brazil.
Though they’re through, the Brazilians looked far from convincing in the matchup. They seemed to run out of ideas in attack after Chile’s Alexis Sánchez evened the match in the 32nd minute, cancelling out a David Luiz header in the 18th.
Gonzalo Jara had Chilean World Cup hopes on his shoulders, but his spot kick clanged off the post and stayed out, giving Brazil the win in the shootout.
Man of the match
Julio Cesar. Brazil was looking for a hero, and Cesar stood forward. Had a massive stop in the second half on Charles Aranguiz to keep the match level, and made the first two saves in the shootout to get Brazil on the front foot.
It was a good day for…
Not having to hire a security detail. Referee Howard Webb wouldn’t have won any friends from either side, but at least he won’t have to live in constant fear of his life thanks to Brazil’s win. Webb called back what would’ve been the match-winning goal with a very tight handball call on Hulk – to Webb’s credit, the right call after replays were shown – and would’ve likely been vilified in Brazil if the hosts were bounced.
It was a bad day for…
South American diplomatic relations. As expected, the match was heated and ill-tempered from the start. Crunching tackles, angry words, a record number of fouls for the tournament so far (51), and seven cards.
Great stat from Opta: The success rate for a penalty kick to avoid elimination is 44 per cent. Pressure, much?
What this means
The hosts are still alive, but only just. Next up is another rough match with a South American rival, either Colombia or Uruguay in the quarter-finals (CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, 4 p.m. ET).
Chile was a crossbar away from shocking the hosts, turning the World Cup on its ear, and becoming a serious threat to win it all. Despite the loss, the Chileans should still hold their heads high. Shame that they have to leave this early.
They said it
"There’s huge pressure in representing our country, and it was tough on a psychological and emotional level. I got very emotional four years ago, and today I was crying again, but this time out of happiness. Not many people know what I’ve been through, but I knew my international career wasn’t over." — Julio Cesar, Brazil goalkeeper
"We gave everything we had and we were up against a whole stadium, against the hosts and we didn’t go through. Our players made history and they did their country proud … If that shot hadn’t hit the bar, then everything might have been different. But it wasn’t. I hope that the pain that we’re feeling right now becomes something else in the future." — Jorge Sampaoli, Chile manager