Preview

World Cup pre-game: Brazil vs. Colombia

Brazil was lucky to get past Chile. They’ll have to rely on much more than goal posts to get past a surging Colombia, who has yet to lose. Coverage begins at 3:30 ET on CBC.

Hosts look to answer critics

Colombia's James Rodriguez has been one of the breakout stars at this year's FIFA World Cup. (Sergio Moraes/Reuters)

Brazil vs. Colombia

  • 4 p.m. ET, Friday, July 4,
  • CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup

What’s at stake

  • Brazil was lucky to get past Chile. They’ll have to rely on much more than goal posts to get past a surging Colombia.
  • Colombia has yet to lose in this World Cup. They would make history by getting beyond the Round of 16.
  • The winner here plays the winner of Germany vs. France in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday, July 8 at 4 p.m. ET.

Impact players

Brazil: Julio Cesar. The goalkeeper had three huge saves against Chile — one during the game and two in the penalty kicks.

Colombia: James Rodriguez. He has five goals and two assists in the biggest tournament of his young life.

What to watch for

Brazil was uncharacteristically disorganized against Chile in what was their worst World Cup game so far. They allowed more forward penetration than Scolari would have hoped.

The Samba Boys need to be much better in leveraging their formation and speed. Neymar, who has scored four goals in four matches, is expected to play after suffering a thigh and knee injury in the match against Chile.

Brazil will be without key midfielder Luis Gustavo, who has to sit out because of a second yellow.

Colombia controlled much of their match against Uruguay with passing and discipline, not to mention solid goalkeeping from David Ospina. Plus, they have Rodriguez, who might be the best player in the tournament right now.

They said it

“When you win like this you come out stronger. We’re going to tell them that so they can appreciate what they’ve done.” — Luiz Scolari, Brazil’s manager, speaking to FIFA.com.

"It's great to have a player like James Rodriguez, and his confidence was very high after our previous game," — Jose Pekerman, manager for Colombia, quoted on FIFA.com.

The big number

33.3 — The percentage of shots taken by Rodriguez that have gone into the net, according to FIFA's match statistics. He’s taken 15 shots, and scored on five.

Obligatory fun fact

Keepers are the oldest players on each of these two teams (which is not unusual). At 34, Julio Cesar is Brazil’s oldest player, while Colombia’s Faryd Mondragon is 43 years old. Mondragon became the oldest player to ever play in a World Cup when he was subbed in against Japan in the group stage.

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