Brazil v Chile

FIRST HALF 1-1: The Brazilian goal was clearly an own goal. The Chilean goal, on the other hand, was the combination of laziness by the Brazilian midfielder and an opportunistic Chilean jumping on the chance. Brazil doesn’t seem to be fully in gear, but Neymar is blowing by the central defense at will, so I would think Brazil will score two more and put the game away without too much trouble.

SECOND HALF 1-1: Brazil will be crying about it, but there was no question that Hulk controlled the ball with his forearm. Good call by the official. The goalies are keeping both teams in the game; both had excellent saves. Chile is attacking more and actually looks the better team despite their obvious lack of quality in comparison with Brazil. Extra time!

EXTRA TIME 1-1: WOW! Chile hits the crossbar in the last two minutes of injury time after a desultory 30 minutes where Chile ran out of steam and wisely switched to a defensive orientation. Brazil then counterattacks, but Neymar unwisely passes right instead of left on a 3-on-2 break. And it’s penalties.

PENALTIES: 3-2 Brazil. Great game. Neymar coolly fires home, the Chilean 5th penalty taker hits the post, and Neymar visibly falls apart with the relief. I can’t even imagine the amount of pressure he must have been feeling. But, as Ender says, I’m going to miss the Chilean coach. He’s awesome, both in terms of his tactics and the way he stalks the sideline like a pitbull, which he rather resembles. I think he is now my third favorite manager after Arsene “please to enjoy my impromptu 30-minute lecture on subjects unrelated to football” Wenger and The Special One.

The Brazilians seem to like him too. Several of them go out of their way to pay their respects. Interesting, too, to see a number of apparent Christians among the Brazilian players, including Neymar and Willian.