The host continue to carry the hopes of a nation as they marched into the last four of the World Cup with a 2-1 win over defending champions Spain in Salvador this afternoon.
Brazil managed just two shots on target throughout the match, despite hitting the woodwork twice, but it’s all they needed to put themselves within ninety minutes of a historic final in nine days time.
The impressive Vágner Love continued his scoring rate, becoming the first player to score in five successive matches at the Finals since Jairzinho in 1970, when he scored his 7th of the tournament after 25 minutes.
Marcelo and Lucas Leiva paired well down the left wing, with Neymar eventually working the ball into the box for Ganso. As he shaped to shoot, he squared the ball to Love who had created space, and the tournament’s top-scorer slotted coolly past Casillas.
Five minutes later, referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot after Piqué clattered through the back of Love as he jumped to meet a Neymar cross. Hulk stepped-up and smashed the penalty into the top corner for his tenth international goal.
Six minutes into the second-half and the holders were gifted a lifeline when Dani Alves intercepted a dangerous-looking Alonso through-ball, before playing it back to his ‘keeper. There was too much pace on the ball and it nestled into the bottom corner before Cavalieri could get to it. The third own-goal of the tournament.
Brazil, sensing that Spain would up their game in search of an equaliser, proceeded to dominate, hassle and press forwards in numbers, denying their opponents any space or time to get into a rhythm. Ganso hit both posts within two minutes of each other, and while SPain weathered the storm, they couldn’t find a leveller.
Brazil will face either Netherlands or Australia for a place in the Final.
FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014 MATCH 57: QUARTER-FINAL SPAIN 1-2 BRAZIL Alves 51 (og) Vágner Love 25 Hulk 30 (pen) Salvador