Brazil booked their place in the semi-finals of the World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Colombia in the last eight in Fortaleza this evening.
Thiago Silva opened the scoring early on for his side, while centre-back partner David Luiz doubled their advantage after the break with a stunning free kick from range.
Colombia did pull a goal back with 10 minutes remaining as James Rodriguez converted from the spot, but they couldn't complete the comeback as Brazil held out to set up a semi-final showdown with Germany.
You can read how a gripping 90 minutes unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live coverage below.
8pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's all-South American World Cup quarter-final between Brazil and Colombia. It looks like a mouth-watering tie on paper between two teams with a very real chance of going all the way in the tournament, and they now know that Germany await them in the semi-finals should they triumph here in Fortaleza. We should be in for a cracker here. Let's start with a look at both teams...
8.02pmTEAM NEWS: The big news from the Brazil camp is that Dani Alves is absent from the team, with Maicon filling it at right-back for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side. Further forward, Fred and Hulk both retain their places in the starting lineup, while Neymar has shaken off a knock to start. For Colombia, Ibarbo returns to the side as Martinez drops out, while Fredy Guarin is also included. Full team news for both sides coming right up...
8.06pmSo, what can we make of those two teams? Well, Scolari has provided something of a surprise with the inclusion of Maicon, who replaces Dani Alves in the starting lineup. Alves is understood to be fully fit, with his absence simply being a matter of being dropped rather than injury playing a part. It certainly is an interesting call for the hosts, and it remains to be seen how it will pan out for them. Alves is widely regarded as the superior player to Maicon, but he had received some criticism for his performances so far at this World Cup.
8.08pmAnother big decision for Scolari today was who would partner Fernandinho in midfield with Luiz Gustavo suspended for the game. As expected, he has plumped for Paulinho, who is another player to have featured a few times already in this World Cup without really impressing. Fernandinho himself was only introduced for the Tottenham man against Chile, and Paulinho will need a good display today if he is convince Scolari that he is worthy of a place in the starting lineup in the last two matches, should Brazil make it that far.
8.10pmThe main man for Brazil is, of course, Neymar, who has coped with the unbelievable burden of expectation on his shoulders very well so far this tournament. It is fair to say that, without the Barcelona man, Brazil may have struggled to make it this far, and his four goals put him amongst the leading candidates for the Golden Boot winner. His record at international level is staggering, and as the standout superstar of this Brazil team they will need him on form again today if they are to beat Colombia.
8.12pmOne player who hasn't exactly shone is Fred, who has struggled in the number nine role throughout the tournament and copped a lot of stick as a result. The striker is certainly capable of scoring goals at this level, as he showed in the Confederations Cup last year, but he has been nowhere near his best at this World Cup so far and time is running out for him to prove himself. It would be a timely return to form if he was to bag a goal or two today.
8.14pmWhile Neymar has been the star of the show for Brazil, Colombia's man main has been James Rodriguez. The Monaco attacker has lit up the tournament so far and is arguably the front-runner for the Golden Ball as things stand having helped Colombia to what is already their best showing at a World Cup. In addition to being in with a shout for the Golden Ball, Rodriguez is also currently leading the way for the Golden Boot, with five goals to his name.
8.16pmTwo of those goals came in the last 16 as he fired his country through to the quarters, with his opener being a candidate for goal of the tournament. With that strike, he became the first player to have scored in each of his first four World Cup games since Christian Vieri of Italy in 1998, and he would become the first player since Rivaldo in 2002 to have scored in the first five games of a World Cup should he find the back of the net tonight. He also averages a goal or an assist every 44 minutes in this World Cup, which is certainly not bad going.
8.18pmColombia are by no means a one-man team, however, with a number of other players impressing so far in Brazil. Perhaps second in line to Rodriguez as Colombia's most impressive player has been Cuadrado, whose skills and pace on the wing has caused full-backs plenty of problems so far. He will once again be looking to provide the threat tonight, and don't be surprised to see him switch wings to potentially target the incoming Maicon now and again.
8.20pmColombia have really impressed as a unit at this World Cup, and they also have incredible strength in depth. Having started the last match, Jackson Martinez returns to the bench today alongside Carlos Bacca, who has barely got a look-in in the tournament so far. Those two scored more than 50 goals between them at club level last season, so there are plenty of options on the bench for Jose Pekerman.
8.22pmColombia haven't yet come up against a team of Brazil's quality, however, and while the Selecao haven't exactly replicated the Brazil teams of years gone by in this tournament, they seem to be finding a way to win while not at their best - an ominous sign for every other country in the World Cup. They have huge expectation on their shoulders as the host nation and, with the exception of one or two players, that seems to be preventing them from playing their usual free-slowing, attractive football.
8.24pmAs expected, they finished top of Group A, although it was by no means straightforward for them. The party was very nearly spoiled in the very first game as Croatia gave them a scare, only for a dodgy penalty decision and a late goal to give a rather misleading look to the scoreline at the end. Mexico held Scolari's side to a goalless draw, thanks largely to a magnificent display from goalkeeper Ochoa, while the Cameroon match was the only time so far that Brazil have really looked like worthy winners.
8.26pmScolari may well feel relieved to have got as far as the quarter-finals considering how close his side were to being eliminated in the last 16. Chile gave Brazil a really good game and rattled the crossbar in the dying stages of extra time, before hitting the woodwork again to lose the penalty shootout. On another day Pinilla's effort could well have gone in during extra time, and Brazil would be watching this match as spectators.
8.28pmSuch are the fine margins of international football, but it would still be a huge disappointment for the national team if they were to exit the World Cup today. Indeed, anything less than lifting the trophy in July would be disappointment for Brazilian fans, who expect the Selecao to add a sixth star to their badge and finally banish the demons of the 1950 tournament where they lost to Uruguay in the final on home soil.
8.30pmWhile they haven't been at their best in terms of performance so far at this World Cup, they certainly come into the game in form when it comes to results. They have won 12 and lost none of their last 13 outings, keeping eight clean sheets in the process, while they have only lost one of their last 25 matches, with 18 wins and six draws in that time. The last time they lost on home soil was 12 years and 41 matches ago in 2002 when Paraguay triumphed, while the last time they lost a competitive game at home was way back in 1975, with Peru the victors on that occasion.
8.32pmOne thing Brazil can't afford is a hangover from the penalties against Chile. A number of the players were hugely emotional following that victory, so much so that Scolari called in a psychologist to help his team out in the last few days. When Brazil start better they usually get the result they want, having lost only one of their last 16 World Cup matches in which they have scored first.
8.34pmThis is the sixth consecutive time that Brazil have made it to the quarter-finals of a World Cup, so they certainly have the experience factor in that regard. However, they have been eliminated at this stage in the past two tournaments, with their defeat to the Dutch in the 2010 quarter-finals the last time they lost a competitive fixture. Scolari, meanwhile, has never lost a World Cup match with Brazil having lifted the trophy in 2002.
8.36pmColombia pose a very interesting test for the host nation today, however. Jose Pekerman's side have arguably been the most impressive team in the tournament so far and have emerged as many people's tips as dark horses to win the whole thing. They certainly have played some nice football thus far, but tonight will be their biggest test yet.
8.38pmColombia cruised through Group C, making it into the knockout rounds as one of only four teams with a 100% record. Admittedly, they didn't have the strongest group with Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan providing the opposition, but the way they dealt with those tests was very impressive. They can also boast the second best attack at the World Cup so far having netted 11 times in their four outing.
8.40pmLike Brazil, Colombia come into this match in good form having not been beaten in their last 11 games, including a run of what is now five wins in a row. They unbeaten streak, with includes seven victories and four draws, stretches back to September of last year, while they have also only lost two of their last 24 games.
8.42pmThey showed signs of their quality throughout qualifying, finishing second behind Argentina to comfortably book their place in this tournament. They also boasted the best defence during that qualifying campaign, conceding just 13 goals. For a team that has impressed so much in attack in this World Cup, it is important to remember that they do have a strong defensive record too, which could well help them become shock winners of the tournament.
8.44pmThey do usually leave it fairly late to make their mark on a match, however, with 10 of their last 13 World Cup goals coming in the second half of matches. Rodriguez scored one either side of the break in the last match, and if he can come up with something as special as his opening goal again tonight then you may as well get the Golden Ball inscribed early. It could take something like that to knock the hosts out, and Rodriguez is certainly capable of the extraordinary.
8.46pmShould they avoid defeat tonight then Colombia would be on their longest undefeated streak as a nation since 1992-94, when they went 27 matches without losing. This is widely regarded as something of a golden generation for Colombian football, and it is worth remembering that they have done it all without their star player Radamel Falcao.
8.48pmWhile this will be the first time that Colombia have dipped their toes into the waters of a World Cup quarter-final, their manager Jose Pekerman has been here before having led Argentina to this stage in 2006. He lost on that occasion and the odds are against him to make the last four tonight, but the way his side have played so far this tournament you certainly wouldn't rule out an upset.
8.50pmPREDICTION: We're 10 minutes from kickoff in Fortaleza, which means that it is time for my prediction! This one really is a tough one to call, with Brazil out of sorts at times in this tournament and Colombia seemingly firing on all cylinders. Whatever the result it should be a cracking game in an electric atmosphere, but for me I just see Brazil edging it. They haven't been at their best so far, but they are so good on home soil and should just be able to dig out a result again today. It may go via extra time, but I'm going for a 2-1 Brazil win after the 120 minutes.
8.52pmThis two are, of course, fairly familiar with each other, although Colombia won;t have too many fond memories of their meetings with Brazil. They have only ever beaten the Selecao twice, and the last of those victories came all the way back in 1991. They have never beaten Brazil on Brazilian soil, so if they progress into the semis tonight then they will have made history in more ways than one.
8.54pmIt is worth noting, however, that Brazil haven't beaten Colombia for 11 years now. The last four meetings between the two sides have ended in draws, and a repeat of that over 120 minutes would send Brazil into a second consecutive penalty shootout.
8.56pmA reminder that the winner of this match will face Germany in the semi-finals after Joachim Low's side beat France in a rather anti-climatic quarter-final earlier today. It was Mats Hummels who got the only goal of the game to take them through, so both teams here know that a tough test awaits them in the last four.
8.58pmOne thing that has been prevalent during this World Cup is the passion with which Brazilians have sung the national anthem, and once again they blast it out in style here, adding in the now-customary extra verse for good measure. Great to see.
1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! A spot in the semi-finals of the World Cup awaits one of these teams as Colombia get us underway in a raucous atmosphere. The fans are certainly up for this, can the players respond with a good game?
3 minBrazil have seen a lot of the ball in these opening exchanges and it is them who are asking the early questions. The fans are responding with a huge noise whenever Brazil are on the ball, and another massive cheer greets a free kick in a good position for the hosts. Can they make anything of this?
5 minSHOT! Unsurprisingly it is Neymar who takes on the free kick duties, but it is a disappointing effort from the Barcelona man. He gets it up and over the wall but it lacks power and drifts a couple of yards wide of the mark.
6 minInterestingly Zapata is the man taking the goal kicks for Colombia here, which could hint at an injury worry for the keeper already. That is certainly one worth keeping an eye on, and you can be sure that the likes of Neymar will have noted it too.
7 minOh my word, what a start that is for Brazil! Neymar swings a corner into the middle and Silva is left completely free at the back post to bundle the ball home after the initial glut of players had missed the delivery. It was Sanchez who was caught ball-watching, and he paid a huge price. Perfect start for the hosts.
9 minIt was loud in this stadium before that goal, but it is almost deafening now. Things could have got very nervy for Brazil had it remained goalless for a while, so that strike could prove to be crucial. It is the first time that Colombia have trailed at this tournament.
10 minGuarin attempts to restore parity in style with a free kick from 35 yards out at least. However, he blasts it a long, long way off target.
11 minCLOSE! Very nearly a quick response for Colombia as Cuadrado picks himself off the floor to collect a loose ball on the edge of the box. He cuts inside before drilling a low effort towards the bottom corner, but it takes a slight deflection off Silva on the way through and ripples the side-netting on its way behind.
13 minColombia have responded fairly well to going behind. It would be easy in this atmosphere to let their heads drop and to get overwhelmed by the situation, but that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. Still nothing for Cesar to do, but Pekerman will be pleased with the response.
15 minFernandinho leaves one on Rodriguez there, arriving late and putting in a poor tackle on the 22-year-old. The Brazilian could well have been booked there, but referee Carlos Velasco opts against producing a card.
17 minCHANCE! Colombia deal with the initial delivery from a corner this time, but Hulk wins the ball back on the edge of the box before beating a man in the area. However, his touch takes him a little too wide to shoot, and his cutback is just about dealt with. Nervy moment for Colombia there.
20 minCHANCE! Another big chance for Brazil to double their lead, but this time Ospina is there to deny the hosts twice. The first chance was the best as Hulk exchanged passes with Neymar before rather scuffing an effort towards goal that the Colombia keeper was able to beat away. He reacts quickly enough to save the rebound from the edge of the box too.
22 minSuperb defending from Thiago Silva as he makes a crucial interception to deny Colombia when they had a four-on-two situation. It was superb play from Rodriguez to carry the ball from midfield before giving it to Cuadrado, who perhaps made the wrong decision in looking for a teammate. Better from Colombia, though.
24 minThat is the first time that Colombia have really looked threatening today, and it came as a result of a quick break and players flooding forward after Rodriguez had worked himself a bit of space.
25 minBrazil come forward this time after Ibarbo was caught in possession having thought the referee hadn't allowed a free kick. He was robbed of possession and, via a throw-in, Paulinho burst into the box before eventually being stopped in unorthodox fashion by Zapata.
27 minHulk comes down the left flank and, despite losing control of the ball a couple of times, he manages to play a decent pass inside for Marcelo. The Real Madrid man has a go from the edge of the box and Fred gets his head to the effort in an attempt to divert it goalwards, but it goes over the top.
28 minSAVE! Superb stop from Ospina as he gets down really well to deny Hulk. It was Marcelo who created the chance, cutting the ball back for Hulk in the area. The attacker took it past the first man before firing a low and powerful strike towards the bottom far corner, but Ospina made a vital stop.
30 minA lot of the knockout matches in this World Cup have been rather cagey affairs, at least in the first half, but that has certainly not been the case so far here. It is a open and attacking match, with both teams looking for what could prove to be a crucial second goal of the game.
32 minGood defending on a number of occasions from both sides as Luiz goes charging upfield, beating a couple of men before finally being stopped by Zapata. The Colombian centre-back then goes forward himself before being stopped by a fine Oscar tackle, while Sanchez then makes a good challenge of his own to deny the subsequent counter.
34 minBrazil have enjoyed 56% of the possession so far, and that is a fair reflection of how this match has gone. They have by no means dominated the game, with both teams looking capable of scoring, but they have just about been on top and probably deserve the lead at the moment.
36 minArmero goes flying down the left, playing a one-two with Gutierrez before finding Cuadrado in the area. The winger looks to tee up Guarin, but the touch is poor. Fernandinho comes flying in to make the interception, but gives away a free kick in a very promising position for Colombia. Big chance, this...
38 minIt is a waste from Colombia, however, as Cuadrado pokes the ball to Rodriguez, who sees his powerful effort blocked by the chargers from the wall.
39 minHulk again drops the shoulder to beat his first man and get into the box, but his finish this time is terrible as he slices it well off target. He has been a threat so far tonight but hasn't had the end product as of yet.
41 minColombia could do with getting Rodriguez into the game more here. He has been at the centre of things when Colombia have threatened so far, but the likes of Fernandinho and Paulinho are doing a good job of keeping him relatively quiet.
43 minFred has once again not been involved tonight, be he does well here to hold the ball up and lift it to Neymar. Zuniga comes in with a challenge on the winger but concedes a free kick in a very dangerous position. The Barcelona man will be the favourite to hit it here.
44 minSHOT! It is indeed Neymar who hits it, and it is not a bad effort. He goes for the far corner rather than trying to lift it up and over the wall, but it flies just a yard or two too high with Ospina rooted to the spot.
45 minThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.
9.56pmWell, what an entertaining half of football that was. Brazil go into the break ahead after what was a refreshingly open 45 minutes following the nervy and cagey quarter-final between France and Germany earlier. It was Mats Hummels who proved to be the match-winner in that game, and it is a centre-back who has opened the scoring was again here.
9.58pmThiago Silva was the man who got the goal, but it was something of a gift for the Brazilian captain. Sanchez fell asleep at the back post from a corner, allowing Silva to nip in at the back post and bundle the ball past Ospina. It was exactly what Brazil needed to ease the tension on their shoulders, and Colombia will be unhappy that they made it so easy for the hosts.
10pmAside from the goal, the best chances have also fallen the way of Brazil, with Hulk providing the main threat. He has skipped into a shooting position on a couple of occasions but his final product has been lacking so far. Ospina did make one good save to deny the attacker, but other than that Hulk should have tested the keeper more stringently than he has done so far.
10.02pmColombia are yet to really create a decent chance, with Cuadrado going close in one of their only threatening moments so far. Rodriguez hasn't been as effective as usual, thanks largely to the close attention of Brazil's midfield, but he still looks key to Colombia creating anything. If he can find a bit of space in the second half then there is still a route back into the match for the Colombians.
10.04pmBrazil have once again not been free-flowing, and a number of teams in the tournament will fancy their chances of beating the hosts based on their performances in the tournament so far. However, they do seem to be finding a way to win all of these matches when not at their best, while is a worrying sign for the rest of the teams left in the competition.
10.06pmCOLOMBIA SUB: Colombia have made a change at the break, with the ineffective Ibarbo being replaced by Adrian Ramos.
46 minKICKOFF: Brazil get us back underway in Fortaleza as they look to hold on to this result and reach the semi-finals of their own tournament. Can they do it or will Colombia fight back?
48 minThe referee has been very lenient so far this evening, which is good to see up to a certain point. However, one or two players should have perhaps gone into the book already, with Fernandinho in particular guilty of a number of poor challenges.
50 minColombia have a free kick in a good crossing position, but Silva is there to make the clearance. The skipper has been superb at the back today, and he has also made the most significant attacking contribution of the match so far.
52 minAt the other end it is now Brazil who have a free kick in a dangerous position. The angle makes it tough to really trouble the keeper with a shot, so Neymar clips a cross into the middle that is flicked wide.
54 minMarcelo has been up and down that left flank all night so far, and he is making as big a contribution as almost anyone on the field. He is always looking to get forward and add an extra body to the attack, which is giving Brazil and valuable overlapping runner alongside Hulk or Neymar.
56 minThe first 10 minutes of this second half haven't quite been as open and attacking as the first half was. There have been a number of free kicks given for niggling fouls which have broken up the game and prevented either team from getting in to any sort of rhythm.
58 minWorrying signs for Brazil as Silva goes down clutching his calf following a poor challenge from behind on Ramos. Somehow the referee doesn't award a free kick, but the skipper hasn't got away with is completely as he seems to have hurt himself. He should be able to continue, though.
59 minSHOT! Colombia come forward as Armero manages to keep the ball in play after an overhit pass from Gutierrez. He lifts it back to Rodriguez on the edge of the box and the Monaco man turns down the chance to volley it towards goal, instead moving it once more to Guarin. The Inter man does go for the volley, but slices it well over the top.
61 minColombia are certainly still in this match with half an hour to play. Brazil haven't exactly impressed since the restart and, right now, you'd have to say that Colombia are just about on top. However, they are still yet to test Julio Cesar, so they need more of an end product in their attacks.
63 minCuadrado stops Neymar with a cynical challenge as the winger looked to lead a counter-attack. Once again, though, the referee chooses not to produce a card. He simply has to book someone soon, the players are getting away with a lot out there now.
64 minYELLOW CARD! The first card finally does come out, but it isn't for a foul. Silva stepped across Ospina as the keeper was about to fire a goal kick upfield, and that earns him a caution that will rule him out of the semi-final should Brazil make it there.
66 minThe tempo of the match is getting a bit faster now as Colombia start pushing for an equaliser. Rodriguez is once again at the forefront, gliding past his man before trying to slide the ball through for Gutierrez, but Marcelo makes the interception.
67 minColombia have the ball in the back of the net, but their celebrations are cut short by the linesman's flag. It was Yepes who scored it, and he was the man flagged offside.
68 minYELLOW CARD! Rodriguez can't quite believe his eyes here. He is the second man in the book for a mistimed sliding tackle on Hulk, and he rightly thinks that it is harsh considering it is his first offence.
69 minRodriguez, the man who conceded the free kick, may have just had his goal of the tournament award stolen from him! This is a magnificent effort from Luiz, who fires the free kick into the top corner from 30 yards. Ospina could do nothing there, it was a superb strike from the new PSG man. Incredible - is that game over?
71 minCOLOMBIA SUB: Jose Pekerman responds with a change as Carlos Bacca replaces Gutierrez. Can they salvage this game in the final 20 minutes?
73 minIt was Luiz, of course, who was credited with the goal against Chile as well, even if it did appear to be an own goal. He joins his centre-back partner on the scoresheet today in what is turning out to be a great day for goalscoring defenders. Yepes, meanwhile, has gone into the book for what was presumably a word out of place to the referee.
73 minCLOSE! Almost a third for Brazil as Neymar is afforded far too much room on the edge of the box. He lines up his left-footed effort, curling it narrowly past the far post with Ospina a mere spectator. Decent effort, but he would have probably expected to hit the target there given how much time he had.
75 minCuadrado cuts inside from the left flank before lining up a shot, but he slips as he is about to pull the trigger, sending a tame effort bouncing into the arms of Cesar, who really has had a quiet evening.
78 minYELLOW CARD! Big call from the ref as he awards Colombia a penalty and shows a yellow card to Cesar for bringing down Bacca, who had been slipped through by Rodriguez. There can be no real complaints about the spot kick, but the main question is whether Cesar should have been sent off. Rodriguez is the man charged with the responsibility of this penalty...
80 minWhat a huge moment that could be in this match! Colombia give themselves a real chance of overturning the deficit by pulling a goal back from the spot. It was a stuttering run-up from Rodriguez, but he still sent the keeper the wrong way and calmly rolled it into the bottom corner for his sixth goal of a remarkable World Cup.
81 minCOLOMBIA SUB: Immediately after that goal Colombia make a change as Juan Quintero comes on in place of Cuadrado, who has been a little disappointing here.
83 minBRAZIL SUB: The hosts respond with a sub of their own as Chelsea's Ramires comes on in place of Hulk.
85 minCareless from Armero as he drifts a couple of yards offside when looking right across the line. Colombia were in a really good position there and would have had a great chance to find the equaliser has the full-back stayed onside.
86 minBRAZIL SUB: Paulinho is the man to make way for Brazil here as Hernanes replaces the Tottenham man in midfield.
88 minNeymar is down and hurt here after taking a knee right to the back from Zuniga. That is a painful one and, in truth, Zuniga is fortunate to get away without a yellow card there. Neymar doesn't look like he will be able to continue here. The stretcher is called for and the Barcelona man is carried off. What a huge blow that is for Brazil.
88 minBRAZIL SUB: That does not look good for Neymar as he is carried off to be replaced by Henrique. Brazil will be praying that it is only an impact injury and nothing too serious.
90 minThere will be FIVE minutes of added time at the end of this match. Plenty of time for more late drama!
90+1 minVery important challenge from Fernandinho is he gets a foot to the ball ahead of Bacca inside the area. The striker had bundled his way into a good position and would have had a chance had Fernandinho not got back there.
90+3 minColombia come forward again and win themselves a corner with Rodriguez sprints across to take. He whips a fine delivery in towards the front post which Ramos flicks on, but it ends up a few yards wide.
90+5 minColombia has a late free kick that prompts Ospina to race forward, but Ramos nods it well over the bar from Quintero's cross. That could well be the last sight of goal for Colombia, who are seconds away from seeing their World Cup dream ended.
90+5 minBRAZIL ARE THROUGH TO THE SEMI-FINALS OF THE WORLD CUP!
10.58pmWow, what a gripping encounter that was! Brazil's journey continues as they set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Germany in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday courtesy of a 2-1 victory. They have their centre-backs to thank for the win as both Silva and Luiz got on the scoresheet, while Rodriguez continued his fine display at this World Cup with a goal from the spot. The Monaco man is in tears at the final whistle, but he has had a magnificent tournament.
11pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining us for an absorbing quarter-final clash between Brazil and Colombia. It is the hosts who have made it through to the last four, while Colombia's entertaining participation in the tournament comes to an end. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction, analysis and player ratings. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!