Rio and Bogota on excitment mode . Today Brazil and Colombia advanced to the next level winning Chile and Uruguay.
The 22-year-old striker Neymar had just slotted the winning penalty as Brazil beat Chile 3-2 in a dramatic shootout after the score was locked 1-1 at the end of extra time, setting the World Cup hosts on course for a showdown against a James Rodriguez-inspired Colombia lineup that beat Uruguay 2-0 later Saturday to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.
As Chile’s last penalty hit the post, it seemed as though the population of Brazil breathed a collective sigh of relief that its beloved team was still in the World Cup.
While it was a heart-stopper for Brazil, which has spent billions to host football’s marquee tournament, it was a heart breaker for Chile, which created plenty of chances to force an upset win — none closer than Mauricio Pinilla’s powerful shot into the crossbar in the last moments of extra time.
Shops were closed and usually busy roads were quiet as the country of almost 200 million urged its revered Selecao to victory and ever closer to a sixth World Cup title — a trophy they desperately want to collect on home soil.
It was just one of the moments that Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli didn’t see coming, and he later reflected on Pinilla’s late strike that could have changed the complexion of the tournament.
“The near goal has been very hard for us to take,” he said. “If it had gone in, it would have been a historic moment for Chile.”
The packed fan fests in Rio’s Copacabana beach and at Sao Paulo were packed with screaming, flag-waving Brazilians. At the Maracana, Brazil fans already inside the stadium for the Colombia-Uruguay match erupted into cheers as they followed the win on TVs. The Maracana was also a sea of yellow, but this time it was tens of thousands of Colombian fans.
“Congratulations to all the Colombian people,” coach Jose Pekerman said. “The people in Colombia deserve this.”