Live Coverage: World Cup live: July 4 - as it happened

Sports Mole's rolling news coverage on quarter-final day of the World Cup in Brazil.

Good morning and welcome to Sports Mole's World Cup live blog, covering all of the news and gossip from the 23rd day of the tournament in Brazil.

It is quarter-final day, with hosts Brazil facing Colombia in a mouthwatering clash and European heavyweights Germany and France also meeting in the last eight.

Keep up-to-date with all of the build up by following our live news updates below.

2.15amSo that brings to an end our coverage of day 23 in Brazil. Jack Prescott will be on-hand to bring you all the latest news and reaction from 11am today, but until then, it's goodnight from me!

2.11amHowever, their victory came at a cost as Thiago Silva picked up a booking that keeps him out of the semi-final with Germany.

Neymar has also been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup after fracturing a vertebra in his back, he was carried off late in the game after being kneed in the back by Juan Camilo Zuniga.

Brazil's forward Neymar is carried on a stretcher after he was injured following a tackle during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

2.09amLater on Friday, host nation Brazil reached the last four after beating Colombia 2-1. Goals from Thiago Silva and David Luiz put A Selecao in control, with a late James Rodriguez penalty all that Los Cafeteros were able to muster in response.

Brazil's defender David Luiz celebrates scoring during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

2.06amSo, a quick recap of events on day 23, which started with Germany seeing off France to reach their fourth straight semi-final. Mats Hummels's early header was enough for Joachim Low's men to secure victory.

Mats Hummels of Germany scores his team's first goal on a header against Raphael Varane of France and past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between France and Germany at Maracana on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

2.03amAfter that, 2010 finalists the Netherlands will look to take a step closer to a first world title by beating Costa Rica, but Los Ticos have already shown little respect for reputations, having beaten Italy, Uruguay and Greece to get to this stage.

Again, Christopher Dodd has been busy previewing what could be an exciting clash in Salvador. Can the Central American side reach the semi-final or will it be Louis van Gaal's men who progress?

1.57amAs we near the end of another day at the World Cup, it's worth drawing your attention to tomorrow's games in the last eight. Argentina will face Belgium in Brasilia with both sides hoping to put together standout performances that have perhaps been lacking so far.

Sports Mole's Christopher Dodd looks forward to the game at the Estadio Nacional here.

1.51amHowever, the World Cup is over for France, who were beaten 1-0 by Germany. Midfielder Antoine Griezmann has admitted that crashing out of the tournament was the "biggest disappointment" of his career to date.

The youngster left the field in tears after the final whistle at the Maracana.

1.45amAs mentioned earlier, Louis van Gaal was quick to talk down the level of talent in Netherlands squad, while still suggesting they can win the World Cup. However, Bryan Ruiz struck a far more positive note, claiming that Costa Rica have nothing to lose when they face the Dutch later today.

Costa Rica would be the first Central American nation to reach the last four in they can beat the Oranje. The best performance at a World Cup by a CONCACAF team was that of the USA in 1930 when they reached the semi-finals.

1.36amDiego Maradona has launched a scathing attack on the current Argentina side, claimant that "has no idea" and also has little chance of winning the World Cup.

He told AS: "My team were a lot more offensive than this one. It looks bleak for us if I'm honest. I wish the team played differently, that it exploited all the ability its players have."

Argentina face Belgium in the quarter-finals, later today.

1.28amYou'd have to think that Brazil's hopes of winning a sixth World Cup have taken a bitter blow. They face Germany on Tuesday without their star forward. Plus captain Thiago Silva will be suspended for the game in Belo Horizonte after picking up a fairly innocuous booking against Colombia.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's men face a stern test next week, that's for sure!

Brazil's defender and captain Thiago Silva celebrates scoring during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

1.25amSo Neymar will be out for the remainder of the tournament after team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed that the 22-year-old had sustained a fractured vertebra in his back, which will require three weeks of recovery.

Lasmar told SportTV: "Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play. It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilise it to recover."

1.12amBREAKING! Neymar will miss the rest of Brazil's World Cup campaign with a back injury. We'll have all the latest news over the next hour. Stay with Sports Mole to keep up-to-date.

1.00amDespite reaching the semi-final with a victory over Colombia, Chris Waddle believes that the current Selecao team would be the worst to win the World Cup in the tournament's 84-year history.

He told BBC Sport: "If Brazil win this World Cup they will be the worst team ever to win it. This Brazil side don't let anybody start passing the ball, they stop the game and obstruct the opposition when there is a problem."

Brazil players pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

12.45amAs we reported earlier, Neymar was taken to hospital for tests on a back injury. However, Luiz Felipe Scolari has suggested his star player is a serious doubt for Tuesday's semi-final with Germany in Belo Horizonte. I suspect Scolari's forthcoming press conferences, in the build up to the game, will feature endless questions about Neymar's back!

12.30amOne man who has made plenty of World Cup headlines for the wrong reasons in Luis Suarez. Barcelona have been vocal in their praise of the Uruguayan, but reports now suggest that the Catalan giants will meet the release clause for the Liverpool attacker, which is thought to be around £70-80m. Needless to say we probably haven't heard the last of that transfer story and you can follow all the latest developments with Sports Mole, not to mention any further fallout from his biting ban.

12.19amSpeaking of Colombia's approach, one player who was key to their chances against Brazil was James Rodriguez. He took his World Cup tally to six with a late penalty, but how well did he play? Barney Corkhill assesses his performance, and those of the other protagonists in Fortaleza here.

Colombia's midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

12.16amColombia coach Jose Pekerman refused to cast his squad in a negative light after losing to Brazil this evening. The Argentine-born boss says that his team came to "play a wonderful World Cup" and not just take part in the competition.

11.59pmBrazil will be nervously assessing Neymar's fitness ahead of Tuesday's semi-final in Belo Horizonte. The Barcelona forward was stretchered off in the dying minutes of the game with Colombia after a knee in the back from Juan Camilo Zuniga and has been taken to hospital for tests. It would be a bitter blow for A Selecao, with Thiago Silva already missing the match with Germany through suspension.

Brazil's forward Neymar lies on the pitch after being injured during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

11.52pmAs I promised earlier, Barney Corkhill's analysis of a whirlwind game between Brazil and Colombia is now available here for your reading pleasure.

11.51pmEarlier today, Germany booked their place in the semi-final with a victory over France at the Maracana. Joachim Low was far from modest is his assessment, claiming that "having excellent players" was key to winning against Les Bleus.

11.35pmLooking ahead to tomorrow's fixtures, Netherlands will reach the last four if they can beat surprise package Costa Rica. However, Louis van Gaal has told reporters that, although he believes his side can win the World Cup, he insisted that the Oranje were not a great team. That would be the not-so-great side that hit five past Spain in their opening game, right?

Arjen Robben (L) and Robin van Persie of the Netherlands walk off the field after scoring two goals each and defeating Spain 5-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 13, 2014© Getty Images

11.29pmYou may be forgiven for being a tad envious, if you're not in Brazil to watch the World Cup, but spare a thought for Joedir Belmont. The 85-year-old was forced to miss the 1950 final, which the host nation lost to Uruguay. Joedir preserved his ticket before donating to a museum.

He was gifted tickets for the 2014 showpiece at the Maracana, but misplaced them within a matter of hours. Thankfully, it looks like he will in Rio next Sunday evening. Will Brazil be there as well?

11.07pmJust to mark your card as well. Sports Mole's Barney Corkhill will be casting his expert eye over the game at the Estadio Castelao, with in-depth analysis and player ratings coming up. If you can't wait for that, Barney's blow-by-blow account (judging by some of tackles from both sides this evening, that's an accurate description) of the game right here.

11.02pmThank you Dan! While Mr Lewis catches his breath. I'll take you through the next few hours, with all the reaction from a high-energy quarter-final in Fortaleza. Only Germany stand between Brazil and the Maracana now...

10.58pmThat's all from me folks, Chris O'Keefe will now take you through the next three hours with all the reaction from Fortaleza. Chris...

10.57pmFULL TIME! BRAZIL 2-1 COLOMBIA! Hosts Brazil book their place in the semi-finals of the World Cup with a slender 2-1 victory over Colombia at the Estadio Castelao. It looked nervy at the end, but the Selecao are now just two steps away from a place in the final. A full match report can be found here.

Brazil's defender David Luiz celebrates scoring during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

10.40pmGOAL! BRAZIL 2-1 COLOMBIA (Rodriguez, 80). Forget that last update, it's very much game on in Fortaleza as James Rodriguez halves the deficit from the spot. Colombia now have 10 minutes to find a leveller!

10.31pmGOAL! BRAZIL 2-0 COLOMBIA (Luiz, 68) Brazil have doubled their lead, and it's another centre-back who has found the target. David Luiz has struck a rocket of a free kick to surely send his side into the semi-finals! Remember, you can follow live minute-by-minute updates of the game right here.

10.27pmUPDATE: BRAZIL 1-0 COLOMBIA Still just the one goal between the two sides at the Estadio Castelao with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.

10.07pmAs promised, we have some more reaction from Germany's victory over France earlier today. Les Bleus' coach Didier Deschamps has insisted that his side did all that they could to beat their opponents, while both Lahm and Neuer have also had their say, all of which can be found here.

9.52pmHALF TIME: BRAZIL 1-0 COLOMBIA! That early Silva goal the only real action in the first half in Fortaleza, meaning as it stands the hosts will face Germany in next week's semi-final. A full report from the first 45 minutes can be found here.
Brazil players pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between Brazil and Colombia at Castelao on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

9.09pmGOAL! Brazil 1-0 Colombia An early goal for Brazil courtesy of captain Thiago Silva who bundles the ball in at the back post from a corner. Long way to go yet, of course.

9.05pmKICK OFF! We're underway in Fortaleza in the second quarter-final of the 2014 World Cup between Brazil and Colombia. It promises to be a fascinating encounter between two South American enemies - follow Barney Corkhill's live commentary right here.

8.52pmWe'll be brining you more reaction for the Germany - France encounter shortly, but first let's turn our attention to another of tomorrow's quarter-final meetings. Costa Rica face the Netherlands, and Los Ticos manager Jorge Luis Pinto has pleaded with FIFA to 'keep a close eye on Arjen Robben'. Pinto's comments in full can be found here.

8.17pmSo that team news in full for you then, with Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari making two changes to his side for tonight's meeting with South American foes Colombia in Fortaleza. Join Barney Corkhill here to follow live build-up of the clash.


Brazil: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Hulk, Oscar, Neymar, Fred

Colombia: Ospina, Zuniga, Zapata, Yepes, Armero, Guarin, Sanchez, Ibarbo, Rodriguez, Gutierrez, Cuadrado

7.45pmSome reaction from match-winner Mats Hummels, who is hopeful that his 'World Cup dream will continue'.

7.25pmArgentina take on Belgium tomorrow evening for a place in the World Cup semi-finals. Ahead of the contest, La Celeste manager Alejandro Sabella has revealed that Sergio Aguero will not be fit to start the game, and he has also denied suggestions that his side are over-reliant on Lionel Messi.

7.06pmThanks Shane! As mentioned it's very much one down, one to go in terms of today's quarter-final meetings. Germany are the first side to book their place in the semi-finals, with either Brazil or Colombia set to join them. More on that game - including team news from Fortaleza - in the coming hour.

Germany's defender Mats Hummels celebrates his goal during a quarter-final football match between France and Germany at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014© Getty Images

7.02pmRight, that's all from me ladies and gentlemen. I will leave you in the safe hands of Daniel Lewis, who will bring you fall-out to what has happened and build-up to what is ahead - particularly the second quarter-final clash between Brazil and Colombia. Cheers!

6.57pmFULL TIME! It's all over in Rio and Germany beat France 1-0 to book their semi-final spot. Click here to read about how they did it. As ever, we'll have analysis, player ratings and reaction for you so stay tuned!

6.44pmThere's only five minutes of normal time remaining at the Maracana and Germany still lead by a solitary goal. Find out if France can nick an equaliser by following our live coverage here.

6.15pmDiego Maradona has taken a swipe at Brazil and claims that Luis Felipe Scolari's side have work to do in order to win the World Cup on home soil this summer. Find out exactly what the Argentina legend has said here.

6.08pmRight, we're back underway at the Maracana folks and you can follow all of the action with Matt Domm and his live commentary here.

5.50pmHALF TIME! It's break time at the Maracana and Mats Hummels's 13th-minute header has done enough to give Germany a slender 1-0 lead at the interval. Click here for our half-time report.

5.30pmColombia coach Jose Pekerman is hoping that poor officiating does not spoil tonight's World Cup quarter-final clash with Brazil. Referee Yuichi Nishimura came under scrutiny after making a number of questionable decisions in favour of the host nation in the 3-1 win over Croatia in last month's curtain raiser.

5.16pmGOAL! France 0-1 Germany (Hummels '13) Disaster for France as Mats Hummels heads Germany into an early lead at the Maracana. Stay tuned for our half-time report.

5.02pmKICKOFF AT THE MARACANA! Will France bid Bon Voyage to the tournament, or will German efficiency see Joachim Low's side move into the semi-finals? Stay tuned for updates and more cliches. For minute-by-minute updates you can join Matt Domm here.

4.42pmWe're about 20 minutes away from kickoff in the Maracana ladies and gents. Why not join Matt Domm, who will provide a full and frank live commentary of the encounter here.

4.39pmBryan Ruiz is hoping that Costa Rica can prolong their World Cup fairytale by beating the Netherlands on Saturday to book a semi-final place. Los Ticos have won the neutrals' affection by recording shock victories over Uruguay and Italy to win Group D, before dispatching Greece on penalties to seal a quarter-final berth.

4.22pmDidier Deschamps has insisted that his France players have no reason to fear Germany ahead of this evening's World Cup quarter-final clash with Joachim Low's side. Tune into our minute-by-minute coverage of the encounter to see if Deschamps has it right.

4.09pmTeam news for this evening's quarter-final has been announced, and I can confirm that Miroslav Klose is one of three changes for the Germans. Click here for the lineups at the Maracana, and click here to follow our live coverage.

3.32pmDavid Luiz has told his Brazil teammates that failure to win the World Cup on home soil is not an option. The host nation could move one step closer to claiming a sixth world title by beating Colombia in tonight's quarter-final clash in Fortaleza.

3.11pmGermany coach Joachim Low claims that goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is good enough to play outfield - and he may need to tonight if rumours are to be believed! As many as seven German players are thought to have been struck down by flu ahead of tonight's quarter-final with France. We'll have team news for that one within the hour.

3.07pmCheers Joe. Indeed, as Mr Fish said, stay tuned as we'll be bringing you team news, build-up, and all of the goings-on ahead of what promises to be yet another memorable day of this brilliant World Cup. Rio is our first port of call with France taking on Germany at 5pm - our coverage begins at 4pm - before host nation Brazil take on Colombia later on tonight.

2.58pmA weather report from Rio, where conditions are overcast and muggy. I can only hope that Sports Mole's text commentary, live from 4.00pm GMT, and the football of course, will brighten up the Brazilian afternoon, with France vs. Germany only two hours away! My colleague Shane Callaghan will guide you through team news and the rest of the World Cup happenings until 7pm.

2.47pmMoving away from quarter-final previewing for a second to bring you a line from one of the tournament's surprise stars, Ecuador striker Enner Valencia, who scored three times before his side's group-stage elimination. The 25-year-old, who is believed to be attracting interest from Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, hopes that his performances were enough to earn him a summer move to Europe.

2.35pmKroos will probably be joined in central midfield against Les Bleus by Philipp Lahm, with Low revealing that his captain is unlikely to be reverted back to his natural full-back position, despite the Germans so far having used central defenders Jerome Boateng or Benedikt Howedes on the flanks.

2.22pmDespite their illness scare, there is obviously still confidence within the German squad, with Toni Kroos insisting that they are a better team than France and simply need to show it later today.

2.11pmWhile Low is confident that he will have a full squad to choose from at the Maracana, German fans will be worried by reports claiming that top scorer Thomas Muller, who has netted four times in as many games at this summer's tournament, is among those who has fallen ill.

Thomas Muller celebrates scoring his hattrick for Germany in their World Cup opening game against Portugal on June 16, 2014.© Getty Images

2.02pmA third of Joachim Low's squad have been under the weather ahead of the match in Rio de Janeiro in a few hours time. Mats Hummels missed the second-round win over Algeria with illness, and now as many as seven of his teammates have been complaining of 'flu-like symptoms'.

1.52pmSpeaking of teams who have had their preparations disturbed, that leads us nicely onto Friday's other quarter-final between Germany and France, who meet at the Maracana at 5.00pm GMT.

1.38pmIt seems that Colombia have Brazil supporters worried, at least, with reports claiming that fireworks were set off outside the Colombian team hotel last night in an attempt to deprive them of sleep!

1.25pmHowever, they have not beaten the Selecao since 1991. Peckerman, though, agrees with the widespread opinion that the under-pressure hosts have yet to hit top form at the World Cup.

1.10pmMany, though, are tipping them to cause an upset against Brazil. Colombia were the most convincing of the last-16 winners and have won every one of their games at the tournament.

1.00pmColombia had never advanced past the group stages at their previous four World Cup appearances, and so reaching the last four would be a fantastic achievement for Pekerman's squad.

12.46pmA word from the Colombia camp now, and their manager Jose Pekerman has admitted that, however well they have done to get to the quarter-finals, reaching the last four will be a "high leap". He is expecting an even match against Brazil, with "great players" on either side.

12.32pmRonaldo, though, has no fears about Neymar's ability to handle the pressure of the nation's expectations as the Barcelona star tries to inspire the Brazilians to a World Cup victory on home soil.

12.18pmThe two-time World Cup winner has urged Scolari to make changes in attack for the tie with their South American rivals, which you can follow live with Sports Mole from 8.00pm [9.00pm kickoff].

12.04pmBrazil legend Ronaldo, the joint-top scorer in World Cup history with 15 goals, has admitted that there are concerns from the host nation over the form of their misfiring strikers.

"They aren't playing well," Ronaldo told reporters. "There are no secrets - my advice is to run a lot - but it's not easy to play like a No 9, even if you have Neymar playing with you."

11.52amScolari sounds confident, but some reports are claiming that he has lost faith in his first-choice striker Fred and may drop him for the meeting with Colombia, and abandon his forward completely. Hulk is being tipped to operate centrally, with an extra body being brought into midfield.

Fred of Brazil gestures for a foul from the ground as Dejan Lovren of Croatia looks on in the second half during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014© Getty Images

11.40amThat news will increase upset among those who protested the tournament coming to Brazil, but the nation would almost certainly unite should the Selecao win the World Cup. Despite their sluggish passage into the quarter-finals, Luis Felipe Scolari has insisted they still have 'one hand on the trophy'.

11.30amBefore we concentrate on what are sure to be a couple of magnificent matches, it must be mentioned that there has been two more deaths in Brazil following further structural problems. Click the story below to read how a flyover in Belo Horizonte collapsed to cost two people their lives. Unfortunately, this truly great World Cup will be slightly marred with the tragedies caused by poor preparation.

11.10amFriday's lineup contains arguably the most exciting of the last-eight ties, as South America's best and European giants go head-to-head, with Brazil facing Colombia and France clashing with Germany.

11.04amGood morning football fans, on World Cup quarter-final day! Sports Mole will be keeping you up to date throughout the day, right up until the two big kickoffs this evening.

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