Brazil got through by the skin of their teeth to make it past Chile in the round of 16 in a match that was decided through penalties. Regulation time ended with 1 goal apiece and extra time did not see any changes despite the high intensity action. It all came down to a penalty shootout where the host nation, to the relief of home fans, came out on top with 3 goals to two.
Brazil 1-1 Chile (penalties 3-2)
Barcelona teammates Neymar Jr. And Dani Alves of Brazil and Alexis Sanchez of Chile were seen hugging each other in the tunnel right before walking out on opposite sides of the pitch for the first of the round of 16 matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They knew that their friendship would have to be set aside as they fight intensely for the first quarterfinal spot.
Early goals at both ends
Brazil went ahead first with a header by David Luiz, considered to be the most expensive defender after having completed a deal from Chelsea to PSG right before the World Cup. The moment of glory was short-lived as Chile were able to equalize on the 32nd minute through Alexis Sanchez.
The game was very physical with players being tackled to the ground on both ends. Brazilian star striker Neymar was a cause for concern as he was seen limping on pitch and needing to step outside for treatment after having been brought to the ground in a nasty tackle.
Despite numerous opportunities, the half ended with a tie and the Brazilian fans were noticeably subdued and less confident at the beginning of the second half.
Hulk put the ball at the back of the net only to be disallowed for using his arm in controlling the ball before making the kick. Video replays showed different angles which had inconclusive evidence to prove the handball. It was the referee's point of view that mattered however and the goal was not counted.
Chile had their own chances to take the lead and Brazil were lucky to have Julio Cesar on the line as he proved instrumental in keeping out a barrage of shots coming from the Chileans including one from Charles Aranguiz which Cesar was lucky to stop on a reflex.
Regulation time ended with both teams exhausted but with Brazil looking a lot worse with many of their players cramping up and receiving treatment on-pitch while waiting for extra time play to start.
The Chilean team looked calm and ready to go with only one or two of them taking the time to sit and massage their legs.
Despite the body language shown before extra time, Brazil were able to hold on and keep Chile from scoring but they were unable to score themselves. In the end, the first knockout match of the tournament came down to a penalty shootout
Julio Cesar the hero
David Luiz, who scored to opening goal also opened up the penalties for Brazil by easily finding the back of the net. Julio Cesar then proved once again that he was out to prove his worth in this match when he save the fist Chilean attempt by Mauricio Pinilla.
The hosts were on top but were unable to pull away as Willian missed his target despite Claudio Bravo's misjudgement of the direction of the ball. Julio Cesar made another save against Alexis Sanches to bury the Chileans deep in the ground.
Marcelo took the next shot to put Brazil on a 2-0 lead but Charles Aranguiz answered back to put the Chileans on the board. Claudio Bravo then did his part by saving Hulk's attempt and to bring Chile back in the game. Marcelo Diaz then took to the spot for Chile to even things up at 2-2.
It was down to the last pair and Brazil's superstar Neymar showed everyone how it was done by flicking in an effortless goal. All eyes were on Gonzalo Jara to push the shootout down to sudden death but Julio Cesar need not have to worry as Jara hit the post to hand the win to the Brazilians.