So how do you follow that game? Brazil v Chile was nearly three hours of pure football gold, as Partridge would have said. Penalties are the cruelest way to settle such an enthralling tie but you had the feeling that neither side would have scored again if they had played for another hour, such was the tiredness of all the players. But football is about winners and losers so whilst Chile would be heading back home across the Andes, Brazil would be able to go out on the piss until Friday night. But who will they play?
It’s fair to say that most football fans across the world would be shouting for Colombia in this game. Not just for the ridiculous stance taken by Uruguay over Suarez – and let’s not forget that if the average man in the street had done what he did, he could be charged with assault but because the Colombians style of play is nice on the eye, not to mention the frequent close ups of some of their more photogenic fans in the crowd.
1. Clever corner-kicks – So what was wrong with that Colombian corner-kick where he tapped it and then left it to his mate? Not enough of this type of sneaky innovation in the game today so it should be applauded rather penalised. There is always the danger that they will go wrong, as Thierry Henry and Robert Pires will testify.
2. Proper goal – Rodriquez’s opening goal – wow. Wow. WOW. Perfect control, outstanding shot and to make it even better it hit the underside of the bar. Goals are always so much better when they hit the underside of the bar and bounce down. Not quite in the Johnny Metgod class but close…Uurguay’s response? Keep their 5-4-1 shape…of course.
3. Empty seats – Where did everyone who was sitting on the halfway line go? Ten minutes after half time and it was still a mass of empty yellow seats? The Brazilian authorities must have been taking lessons from Club Wembley.
4. The flappy man – Remember the bird man of Colombia from Italia 1990 and France 1998? Well Gustav Llanos is back here in Rio, although he has been stuck in the corner behind the goal. But when his moment came, with a corner to Colombia, he sprung to life and flapped his big wings. The TV cameras seem to have been told to just focus on the pretty females in the crowd in this tournament.
5. Bogie team – The last four games between Brazil and Colombia, outside of the Copa America, have all been drawn – with three goal less games. Expect next Friday’s game to be a corker now.