While there’s nothing really fair about a penalty shootout, someone has to lose and go home. Brazil weren’t the better team in the match, but Chile hit the crossbar and the post at the wrong time. Combined with a great performance from Julio Cesar when it mattered the most, and we have the host nation moving on to the next round.
People love to criticize Brazil because of an illusion they have about the Brazil of 1970 or those teams from 1982 and 1986 that never won anything. Sure, there’s a talent problem in certain positions for the current side, but it seems to be more of the pressure getting to them than actually being a bad team.
Chile weren’t better than Brazil, but they did a great job of bouncing back from conceding an early goal. Alexis Sanchez was fantastic and Mauricio Pinilla nearly won the match with his crossbar connection in the 119th minute. So close.
Neymar wasn’t great in the match, but he didn’t buckle under the pressure until after the penalty victory, tearing up. It’s hard to understand what a 22 year old carrying the hopes of a football crazed nation on his back is going through. It’s good for him that he has someone like Julio Cesar to help him.