The first round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile was a humdinger of a game. Brazil bolstered on by a vociferous crowd just about managed to squeak past a very good Chile side. Brazil took the lead from a corner when David Luiz just about bundled the ball in, other teams might have caved in but a resilient Chile team fought back and scored thanks to Alexis Sanchez. With the teams tied at the end of the 90 minutes, extra time ensued. The teams were inseparable in extra time and the match went to the dreaded penalty shootouts where Brazil just about held their nerve and beat Chile 3-2 on penalties. Brazil move on to the quarterfinals where they are to play the winner of the Colombia and Uruguay match, here are the 5 talking points from the game.
Where is the Brazilian attack?
This may not be the greatest Brazil team ever to take part in a World Cup but a team with the likes of Neymar, Hulk, Oscar and Willian should do better. Against a resolute Chile team the attack was virtually non-existent. For the first 15 minutes Brazil were the better team but once Chile got their bearings, it was all Chile for the rest of the game. Hulk was more like the Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four and was not seen except for one disallowed goal. Oscar and Neymar were well marshaled by the Chile defense and the less we talk about Fred and Jo the better, if Brazil wants to win the tournament they need to do much better.
Claudio Bravo certainly knows how to celebrate a new contract. He recently signed for La Liga giants Barcelona and he put up an inspired display like the rest of the Chile team. He was one of the best keepers in the group stages and once again he proved himself. Although Chile controlled vast portions of the game, Bravo was up to the task when called into action. He had a couple of brilliant saves from Neymar and Hulk; he even saved a couple of penalties during the shootout. Bravo was brilliant but was just unlucky in the end.
The better team lost
If anyone thought that the Brazilian team deserved to go through into the quarterfinals, they need to get their head checked. Chile was the better team, they were better organized, they played like a team and they should have won the game in extra time, Pinilla will be having nightmares about this game. He hit the crossbar in the last minute of extra time and then was the first player to miss a penalty in the shootout. Had this been any other day, Chile would have easily made it through, they just did not have that bit of luck which is needed.
Webb is one lucky man
Another World Cup game and yet again Howard Webb is in the spotlight. Early on, Hulk was bundled into the box but for some strange reason Howard Webb did not give a penalty, then in the second half it seemed that Hulk had just scored the 2nd goal for Brazil when Webb blew his whistle for a handball by Hulk. Replays showed that it was a very harsh call by the referee, he is lucky that Brazil won in the penalty shootout, had they lost, Webb would have needed security and a disguise to get out of the country in one piece.
This Brazil team isn’t cut out
The attack does not click, the midfield is over run too easily and their defense is picked apart too often. This Brazil team does not have much going on for them. They were lucky in their win against Croatia and needed all the four leaf clovers they could to help them get past Chile. It is often said that you do need a bit of luck to win the major tournaments but unless this team starts clicking into gears, they could be knocked out, this just does not feel like a Brazil team, well apart from them wearing the jerseys.