In scenes reminiscent of England’s Euro ’96 spot-kick triumph over Spain, World Cup hosts Brazil squeezed past Chile following high shootout drama, but like the Three Lions team of 18 years ago, the Selecao could fall short in their charge to the final.
Favourites to win in 90 minutes, with odds of 5/6 offered by Ladbrokes, Brazil can also be backed at 4/11 to qualify for the next round.
But spare a thought for their opponents Colombia – arguably the only team to play consistently well at this World Cup. Los Cafeteros are 10/3 to see Brazil off in normal time with a tempting 2/1 available on Jose Pekerman’s side making the semi-finals.
With a mouth-watering game in prospect, we’ve picked out three great bets to back alongside the game.
While six of the eight second round games featured goalless first halves, the South American contingent provided plenty of goals in the first 45 minutes with James Rodriguez putting Colombia 1-0 up against Uruguay while Brazil went in 1-1 at the break with Chile.
That half-time score line was the second time in this World Cup that Brazil have gone in 1-1 at the break, having done the very same thing against Croatia while, were it not for a moment of individual brilliance from Neymar, the Selecao could have been heading in a 1-1 against Cameroon. Given the threat posed by Colombia, backing both teams to score and be level following the opening 45 minutes is a worthy shout.
The Porto man picks himself following a series of dazzling displays at the World Cup for Colombia that have left many wondering whether the South American dark horses really can go all the way at these finals.
Top scorer in the tournament with five goals, James has scored in each of Los Cafeteros’ four games so far and as his sensational strikes against Japan and, most notably, Uruguay suggest, he appears to be getting better as the competition goes on. Go against him at your peril!
Chile took Brazil all the way in the second round and with five of the eight second round games requiring the extra 30 minutes, it would be a fair shout to predict a similar outcome when these two sides meet, particularly when you consider their shared track record for such a result.
Colombia and Brazil have drawn in each of their last four international meetings and with the hosts proving defensively solid yet lacking in the final third, a repeat could well be on the cards.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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