I swear I'm alive. Well, I think I'm alive. I'm still not sure. Well, if it's the last time you're reading anything by me because I died, it was great to know you guys.
It's tough to be Brazilian. We live to suffer, and agonize, and ... and ... God, I still don't know what exactly to say after what transpired against Chile. It wasn't easy. It wasn't even hard. It was like you're playing Battlefield in Expert Mode without even knowing what the controls are -- I don't even know if that's the hardest Mode to play in Battlefield, or if there's an Expert Mode in BF for that matter, but screw it, you get my point.
It was painful to watch. Brazil played what was probably their worst all-around game in more than a year under Big Phil Scolari. Nothing was good. Absolutely nothing. David Luiz did score after a corner kick, but that was it. Neymar got hurt three minutes in, after he injured his knee while flopping/suffering/flopping a foul. From that point on, we didn't see the Group Stage best goalscorer Neymar. We only knew Fred was playing when he was subbed off by Jô, who did ... well, Jô Stuff.
Scolari was terrible at making subs. None of his three changes made any impact, and Brazil lost the midfield battle again. No creation, too much fouling, too much direct passes from David Luiz or Thiago Silva, too much crosses by Dani Alvenue, too much bad play.
Chile, on the other hand, played the way they should against Brazil. High press on defense, quick and efficient offense, capitalizing on the opponent's mistakes. After a miscommunication between Hulk and Marcelo on a throw-in, Alexis Sánchez scored the equalizer, and a drama was on.
The second half saw Brazil stumbling on their own mistakes. Chile O-W-N-E-D the Seleção, creating opportunities and keeping possession of the ball. The hosts tried to do something, but they were in a bad, bad day. The crowd in the Mineirão Stadium was stunned by Brazil's lack of creativity, and got more nervous as the game went into overtime.
In the overtime, Chile's legs gave up, and they did everything they could to stop Brazil and go to the penalties. They got it, and the PK's were going to be the decider.
Then, Brazil's villain in their 2010 QF loss to Netherlands became a nation's hero. Júlio César saved the day, stopping two straight penalties and giving Brazil the edge. Hulk and Willian missed their opportunities, but Neymar converted his shot. Then, Jara's final penalty for Chile hit the post, enough to put Brazil in their sixth straight quarterfinal.
They'll face Colombia next, and an entire nation hopes Brazil can do better on Friday. If today happens again, I don't know if I can live.
Barcelona Player Grades
Alexis (Chile) - 8.5: Alexis was the best player on the field. Amazing match, not only because of the goal scored, but because of all of his contributions, offensively and defensively.
Claudio Bravo (Chile) - 8: Second best player of the match, Made impressive saves during a quick stretch in the second half where Brazil created three good chances, plus saved a Hulk penalty. Nice signing, Barça.
Neymar (Brazil) - 6.5: Let's put into consideration that Neymar was hurt. Legit. He played through it. He played a bad game, but he had two great chances and scored the game-winning PK.
Dani Alves - 2.5: No, it's a PLUS-2.5. Although it could've been a minus-2.5. Alves was HORRENDOUS.
Brazil: Júlio César, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Luis Gustavo, Fernandinho (Ramires), Hulk, Oscar (Willian), Neymar; Fred (Jô)
Goal: David Luiz (18')
Chile: Bravo, Silva, Medel (Rojas), Jara; Isla, Aránguiz, Díaz, Mena, Vidal (Pinilla); Alexis Sánchez, Vargas (Gutiérrez)
Goal: Alexis Sánchez (32')
Penalties: Brazil 3 (David Luiz, Marcelo, Neymar), Chile 2 (Aránguiz, Díaz)
- World Cup: Brazil vs. Chile Match Preview
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- Luis Suárez conversation with Andoni Zubizarreta on FC Barcelona Rumours