Colombia 1-1 Brazil: match report
Colombia improved their chances of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia next summer with a valuable point against Brazil in Barranquilla on Tuesday night. They will, however, be watching other results with a beady eye as Argentina and Uruguay breath down their necks.
Brazil, who qualified back in March, played without some of their usual starters as Tite looks beyond his regulars in case he has to deal with injuries next June.
The side he selected was still excellent but Colombia started better. Juan Cuadrado was testing Filipe Luis every time the ball came down the right hand side and James was looking to get involved at every opportunity.
It was the away side who landed the first goal though when a long ball by Dani Alves landed on Neymar's foot and he laid it off to Willian. The wide midfielder made no mistake as he struck beyond Ospina.
That goal came just at the cusp of half-time and Colombia were rocked.
They sorted themselves out in the dressing room at half-time though and were far more proactive than the visitors to start the second period.
Their aggression was rewarded after 56 minutes when James flicked the ball onto Arias and he delivered a cross onto Radamel Falcao's head that he did very well to direct away from Alisson.
Colombia were level and the Barranquilla was a lot louder than it had been. The home side were in their element and used the atmosphere to squeeze Brazil. It nearly worked, but not quite, as Brazil were not in the mode to be bullied regardless of the venue.
They have enough firepower to trouble the very best and that kept the game in the balance. No matter how high Colombia pushed up, Brazil were always willing and capable of pushing back just as hard.
The result suits Argentina and the rest of the chasing pack but Colombia take an important step towards qualification but will feel like the missed a trick with Brazil, maybe just maybe, there for the taking.
Colombia vs Brazil live stream online: as it happened
90'+4' GAME OVER!
90'+2' It results in a Dani Alves shot that flies over the bar!
90'+1' Neymar just went around Zapata like he wasn't there.
90' Coutinho coughs up possession but Colombia can't do anything with it. Then Brazil break and Jesus can't get anything on a long ball. Ospina saves and starts again.
87' Coutinho twists and turns and throws a pass out to the right. Slightly off target. He does look slightly rusty as he hasn't played now in a few weeks. It was a concern for Tite coming into the game.
85' Fabra's race is run.
85' Brazil looking more dangerous in the closing stages. Willian cross and Jesus heads over. Arias puts him under pressure.
83' Fabra down after overstretching for the ball. Could be cramp from where he's grabbing the back of his leg.
82' Neymar runs depe into enemy territory with no support. He nearly makes it alone but ends up losing out to a number of Colombian defenders.
80' Paulinho runs out of real estate but he lays it off to Neymar, who drives just wide.
77' Filipe Luis long back to COutinho but Colombia win it back.
74' Renato Augusto replaced by Phil Coutinho.
74' Falcao out to James and he crosses. Alisson saves.
71' Cardona is replaced by Gutierrez. Barranquilla light up again.
70' Cooling break!
67' Jesus collides with Ospina in the air. Free to Colombia.
Garbriel Jesus replaces Firmino.
67' Carlos Sanchez with some cramp after fouling Paulinho. He gets treatment and we are back underway.
64' Cardona nearly has his pocket picked but he jumps in front of Alves and falls on the ground. Alves concedes the free and is not happy. He gets booked for his protestations. he has a point though.
63' Brazil responding. Shot from Paulinho that blazes by the post. Ospina at full stretch.
62' Firmino with a head that nearly catches Ospina out by looping over him. He saves.
61' Cardona booked for a foul on Renato Augusto.
60' Out on the left. James has a shot and it hits the post, bounces off Alisson's foot and back into play. He urges the crowd to raise the noise, which they do! Colombia with their tails up now.
59' Alves fouls Cardona now. Brazil uner a little bit of pressure here.
59' Cardona drives a shot at Alisson. He saves with clean hands.
55' GOAL! Colombia level the game. Falcao with a lovely header. Absolutely trademark form the Monaco striker. Arias with the cross and loses Marquinhos.
55' Colombia have Brazil pushed all the way back.
53' Chara involved since coming off the bench but he doesn't seem to offer as much as Cuadrado does. He is willing though and wins a free. Colombia back on the ball and looking for a brekathrough.
52' Paulinho arrives for the corner and gets a head to it but it goes wide.
51' Colombia picking it up now. A far livelier start but they're also leaving themselves exposed. They concede a corner.
48' Davison Sanchez throws Dani Alves to the ground with a shoulder charge. Absolutely no messing there. And a throw for Colombia. No free! Brilliant.
46' Yimmi Chara replaced Juan Cuadrado at half-time.
46' Back underway! Colombia need a goal.
45' HALF-TIME! Nightmare for Colombia to concede so late in the half.
45' Willian with the opener! Alves long ball, Neymar lays it off to Willian and he makes no mistake as he buries it beyond a sprawling Ospina.
45' A dog on the field.
44' James with a cross. He fires it down Alisson's throat but Falcao had dropped back expecting him to pull it back. Another save.
44' Cuadrado with a cross from deep. Alisson not as secure with his hands this time but still gathers.
43' James drives it through the wall and Alisson saves. Could have been an entirely different outcome to that as it was uncelar how much the keeper could see of it. Good save.
41' Paulinho gets tangled up with Cuadrado concedes a free. Just outside the box. No card as it was more clumsy than anything else.
40' And now Brazil trying to take matters into their hands. Or else Colombia are gassed.
38' Arias rides a challenge and wins a backheel from Cuadrado. He plays the ball to Cuadrado but he had drifted offside. Really slick move by los cafeteros.
37' Colombia a little better off in the last five minutes. Pushing for that opener while Brazil relying on counter attacks.
35' Thiago Silva with another clearance conceding the corner under pressure from Arias.
35' Fernandinho collides with James in the air and concedes the free.
33' Neymar breaks free. A fairly wreckless lunge at the ball by Arias and Neymar breaks. He is at a difficult angle though and strikes wide. Looked to take a deflection.
32' James out to Fabra and he delivers a lovely cross. Falcao lurking but Thiago Silva heads it just over the bar. Nearly an own goal. Corner.
30' Brazil starting to push Colombia further back.
30' Neymar turned upside down and wins a free. Holding his shoulder. Not sure as to how bad it is but he's up and at them again.
29' Colombia try to break from the corner and James' pass to Cuadrado vastly misjudges how fast the Juve winger is.
28' Neymar links up perfectly with Firmino. He continues his run and the ball falls to Firmino. He drives a shot that Ospina turns around the post. Corner.
27' Firmino fires over.
30 degrees at present at Estadio Metropolitano, Barranquilla
25' Time for a cooling break.
23' James wins it back. Or Fernandinho gives it away. Cardona gets it from James and shot arrives. Saved by Alisson.
20' Colombia break. Falcao out left to Cardona and he cuts inside only to fire wide. Had support and might have done better but had shot in his head and went with it.
19' An old-fashioned shoulder charge by Carlos Sanchez on Augusto. Free.
18' Juan Cuadrado with a chance that he fashioned himself. He drives it wide of Alisson's post but not bad.
17' Some craziness in Colombia's penalty area. Corner lands at Fernandinho's feet, he shoots and his shot is blocked, Paulinho tries from an awkward angle and then a free is awarded.
16' Dani Alves down grabbing his ankle. Replays show a tackle but not real contact. He should be fine.
15' Aguilar's chance to make an exageratted clearance. Sends it into the middle of Medellin with a kick.
15' 15 minutes in and no clear chances for either side. Brazil improving more recently but Colombia started better.
13' Filipe Luis and Cuadrado having a good battle early on. The Atletico Madrid left back goes through the back of the Colombian and is lucky not to be booked.
12' Alves hits it and Ospina dives but it goes wide.
12' Firmino fouled by Zapata and Brazil with a chance. Too far out for a shot, surely? Neymar and Alves line it up.
10' James whips a dangerous cross into the box. Thiago Silva taking no risks as he sends it back to Brazil with a kick.
10' Cuadrado crosses. Cardona gets a head to it but it comes to nothing.
9' James picks it up very deep. Brazil in no hurry to win it back off Colombia. Quite a tame start to this one. Colombia, as you would expect, the antagonists.
7' Alves fouled and gets up quite slowly. Limps off and then recovers.
6' Colombia put Alisson under all sorts of pressure. He clears to Cuadrado and the Juve winger doesn't shoot first time. That might be a tactic of Colombia's because as soon as the keeper got the ball, they collapsed around him. Almost worked too.
4' Paulinho wins it back and Neymar dishes it out to Dani Alves. He crosses and Paulinho gets a head to it. Aguilar blocks it. Corner!
3' Colombia with all the ball early. Juan Cuadrado tries to break. Shows patience, turns around and starts again.
1' We are underway!
We have the national anthems. Colombia being belted out at the moment.
Last time Brazil and Colombia played each other, it was in solidarity with Chapecoense and to raise funds for their families. Brazil won the game 1-0 and their squad was made up of more local players with Robinho included.
And now we have Brazil's starting XI: Alisson, Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Filipe Luis, Paulinho, Fernandinho, Augusto, Willian, Firmino, Neymar.
We have Colombai's starting XI: Ospina, Zapata, Arias, Sanchez, Cardona, Aguilar, Garcia, Rodriguez, Cuadrado, Fabra, Sanchez.
Firmino will start tonight. And Barcelona's Paulinho will captain the side.
Tite will make four changes to the side that beat Ecuador 2-0 on Friday. Firmino, Fernandinho, Thiago Silva and Filipe Luis (most likely) will replace Gabriel Jesus, Casemiro, Miranda and suspended Marcelo. “We are looking to consolidate the team, we don’t know what will happen in the future," Tite said as he looks at different options.
An interesting one here in that Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have had a whiparound amongst them to make sure the players in their respective sides are back in plenty of time for the weekend's Premier League games.
A side note is that Argentina have only every tried and failed to qualify once, in 1970 when the finals were held in Mexico.
James Rodriguez missed Colombia's game against Venezuela but could be back to play tonight. A win for Colombia would be a huge blow to Argentina's hopes as they are relying on the teams ahead of them messing up between now and the end of qualifying.
Will we be seeing Coutinho tonight? Tite, Brazil's manager, says he is good to go. ‘Coutinho is physically fit to play 90 minutes,’ he said. ‘I can count on him for part of the game. He’s fine physically, but technically it’s different. He has not played for a long time."
Tonight's match is at the Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez, known as El Metro, in Barranquilla on the north coast of Colombia. It rocks a capacity of just under 50,000 and is the home of Atlético Junior, who count among their supporters none other than Shakira, who was born and brought up in Barranquilla.
In the corresponding fixture in Brazil, on 6 September last year, Brazil downed Colombia 2-1 in the Arena da Amazonia. Miranda opened the scoring for Brazil after 2 minutes, but a Marquinhos own goal in the 37th minute levelled things until a shockingly blonde Neymar popped up in the 74th minute to settle the matter.
Colombia vs Brazil live stream online: match preview
With just three round of fixtures remaining in Conmebol qualifying it’s nitty-gritty time for several nations as the hunt for the four automatic tickets to the 2018 World Cup goes down to the wire.
That is not a consideration for Tite’s Canarinha, who have chirped their way to Russia with just a single loss in qualifying so far and lead the table by 11 points. Colombia head a tight pack behind Brazil on 25 points with Uruguay third on 24 and Chile currently in the final automatic berth on 23, ahead of Argentina by a single goal in the differential stakes.
José Pekerman’s side have been estranged from the back of the net too often in qualifying to have capitalized on the defensive deficiencies of other nations and the Cafeteros have been outscored by Peru and Ecuador and have managed just one more than rock bottom Venezuela, who held Colombia to a goalless draw in their previous fixture.
Radamel Falcao goes into the game in a purple patch in front of the sticks for his club, the Monaco striker having bagged seven goals in four Ligue 1 games so far this season. Pekerman could do with his star striker carrying that form onto the turf in Baranquilla and will play James Rodríguez, Juan Cuadrado and Miguel Borja behind Falcao to provide the ammunition.
Working in Colombia’s advantage is Brazil’s already qualified status: Tite is likely to make several changes to his line-up to try out some new faces and the home side will be firmly in the driving seat for Russia if they pull a result out of their hat with Paraguay at home and Peru away to come.
Tite has been forced into a couple of changes already, with Marcelo suspended and Joao Miranda picking up an injury in the victory over Ecuador. Juventus’ Alex Sandro and Monaco’s Jemerson have been drafted in to cover and Tite is also likely to start with Roberto Firmino in place of Gabriel Jesús and Barcelona midfielder Paulinho coming in for Casemiro.
Thiago Silva is expected to replace Miranda while Atlético full back Filipe Luis is the logical choice to deputize for Marcelo.
Brazil are unbeaten in qualifying since Tite replaced Dunga in 2016 and he will be eager to maintain that run in Baranquilla. It remains to be seen whether Neymar will feature with Pekerman noting in the build-up to the match: “We’ll be happier if he doesn’t play.”
Colombia vs Brazil live online: possible line-ups
Colombia XI: Ospina; Arias, Fabra, Tesillo, Cardona; Aguilar, Sánchez; Cuadrado, Rodríguez, Borja; Falcao.
Coach: José Pekerman
Brazil XI: Alisson; Alves, Silva, Marquinhos, Filipe; Fernandinho, Paulinho, Willian, Neymar, Coutinho; Firmino.
Colombia vs Brazil live stream online: selected betting odds
Colombia are 21/10 to beat Brazil with the visitors chalked up at 13/10. In the goal scorer stakes Falcao is the favourite to hit the net first at 7/2 with Firmino at 11/2.
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