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returned for us all to enjoy on Saturday

  • November 14, 2017 6:15 PM PST

    Day in 100 words or less Welcome back Brazil 2014. Kevin Jepsen Jersey . Oh how we missed you. Gone for just a day, you returned for us all to enjoy on Saturday, as a mini Copa America took place to start the knock out stages. You didnt return with a little tease. You didnt flirt with us, showing brief moments that will take our breath away. No, no. You were even more gorgeous than we remembered, handing us a game that brought all of our emotions to the core and a sensational, radiant maestro who continues to shine light on all that is glorious about you. Brazil 1-1 Chile (Brazil win 3-2 on pens) After arguably the greatest group stage to ever grace a World Cup we could have understood if the World Cups knock-out stages had given us a couple of games low on drama, particularly with what was on the line. What a load of nonsense. Brazil 2014 has laughed in the face of hyperbole at past World Cups, tactical trends and many other stereotypes and it was at it again on Saturday, handing us an instant classic the moment the knock out stages began. There is nothing like a World Cup. Nothing. Part of what makes it so incredible special is watching teams dance so close to that line of elimination. On Saturday in the Belo Horizonte sunshine, the host nation danced precariously close to that line. It is a line that past champions have flirted with often, including in the last 16. Back in 2006, Italy needed a 95th minute controversial winner from Francesco Totti to send Australia home and in 1998 holders France couldnt get by Paraguay until a 113th minute golden goal winner by Laurent Blanc. Brazil clearly have a long way to go to be added to that list but the millions of Brazilians watching this game have their mind on one thing and one thing only - the World Cup trophy. Before Saturday, the mandate was clear. Win four games and lift the trophy inside the Maracana on July 13th. Easier said than done. Chile were always the team they didnt want to face. When the draw was made, many looked at a possible Brazil-Spain knockout game but Luiz Felipe Scolari feared Chile more. On Saturday, we found out why. For a nation that expects, the atmosphere was like a carnival at kick-off. There was very little sense of tension. Brazil came out of the blocks flying, pressing high, recovering balls quickly and countering through the blistering speed of Neymar. A goal seemed inevitable and it came through the route all Chile fans feared. Neymars corner, flicked on by Thiago Silva, and poked in by David Luiz at the back post ignited the carnival further. Brazil were in complete control and Chile were shell-shocked, overawed by the occasion. Then another error on Brazils left side of their defence and the lethal combination of Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez gave them the goal they needed. Chiles nerves were gone and their confidence blossomed. Brazil, through Hulk, had some of the games better chances in the second half but Chile were the better side. The carnival disappeared and the tension flooded the stadium. Eleven players in yellow with the weight of over 200 million people on their shoulders. Chile grew stronger sensing an opportunity. Jorge Sampaoli, their wonderfully animated coach, did what he could but he was powerless. Deep in thought must have been what could have been if Arturo Vidal was anywhere close to the player Juventus fans have been lucky to watch closely. Clearly not fit, the talisman was withdrawn from the cauldron close to the end of 90 minutes and it was a cruel blow for such a special player who clearly could have had a massive influence on this game if not for knee surgery last month. Extra time came, Chile tired, Brazil tightened and penalties were inevitable, even though Mauricio Pinilla smashed the bar in the final seconds. The tension was unbearable for many and then referee Howard Webb got to do what he looked destined to do four years ago. The lottery of penalties it was called by the commentator. How naive. As the game came to a climax, both sides will have statistical analysis on each of the players. Even prepared writers had the stats. Julio Cesar had stopped six of 18 penalties in the last five years. Claudio Bravo had faced 16 spot kicks and prevented three. These stats and plenty more make the experience and education of preparing for a shootout much more worthwhile. For example, here is how Gareth Wheeler and I prepared for the penalties on TSN Radio. Seven of the last eight winners in World Cup shootouts went first and Brazil won the toss and did exactly that. David Luizs opener was worth much more than just one goal. When Julio Cesar saved from Pinilla the odds stacked heavily against the visitors. Only four of the previous 22 World Cup shootouts had seen a team miss first and advance. Chile would get it back to 2-2 through four shootouts but Brazil still had the advantage, knowing a goal would put their opponents in a must score scenario. That pressure fell on Neymar. As the television screens worldwide showed Marcelo Diaz celebrating his penalty, the face of the Brazilian side broke away from his teammates and made the lonely walk by himself. From the moment the eighth penalty was kicked, Neymar had 33 seconds to think about whatever entered his mind. Then he received the ball off the referee and placed it down. 52 seconds had now ticked by before he started his run up. He did a little jig of a dance, oh so close to the line of elimination, checked his run, waiting for the keeper to move but it never happened, forcing him to choose a side. Naturally, Neymar went to his natural side (right footed players hitting it to the left) sliding it to the keepers right. David Luiz was their to greet him as he walked back, a very important sign of unity and intimidation as Chiles fifth taker walked by.Gonzalo Jara then had to score. He went to his unnatural side, guessed correctly by Julio Cesar, but the post kept the ball out and Brazil partied long into the night. Brazil had escaped. They were, once again, miles away from the standard they need to reach but now they are only three games away from their goal. Julio Cesar, Thiago Silva, Hulk and Neymar stood out for the Brazilians while many others didnt. A move to 4-3-3 in the second half, with Oscar, centrally and deeper, seems to be the right way going forward but Neymars boys will need to be much, much better to stay in this tournament. After all, he is coming up against another absolute star number ten in yellow... Colombia 2-0 Uruguay Uruguay made no friends in the wake of the latest Luis Suarez biting incident. Oscar Washington Tabarez is a fine gentleman who has done wonders for that country and that federation but his 12 minute rant at a press conference on Friday was sad to see. It was seen as a way of firing up his team but, in truth, they were lifeless in attack once again. It was always going to be difficult for the team to come from behind, much like against Costa Rica (and not against England and Italy) and once one moment of brilliance turned the game, Uruguay were very close to joining Suarez at home. James Rodriguez is now the undisputed player of the tournament so far. A man who wasnt even born the last, and only, time Colombia played a knock out round at the World Cup (1990). His goal changed the game and changed the path for his country as they marched down a road to the World Cup quarter finals for the first time ever. It was a goal you will see over and over again. A goal made by spatial awareness, supreme football intelligence and incredible technique. 27:18 James moves into space between the lines... 27:24 The play develops and still he finds space in that area, constantly moving... 27:27 Still operating between the lines, showing for the ball... 27:31 Here is the brilliance. Ball finally comes his way and here is "the look". A glance behind to see if any defenders are coming tight behind him. Knowing they are not he plays out what is about to happen in his mind before the ball reaches him... Setting himself up for the best goal of the World Cup so far... Man of the day Nominees... Neymar - his pace was a constant threat for Chile and his penalty ended up sending them home. Claudio Bravo - the Chilean goalkeeper was excellent throughout the match and made a big save in the shootout. Julio Cesar - made two superb stops to turn the tide in the shootout. James Rodriguez - a wonderful strike followed by a tap in he helped create meant he, fittingly, carried Colombia into the last eight. Juan Cuadrado - Buried in the shadow of James, the winger has been superb in this tournament and was no different against Uruguay. The winner... Julio Cesar - Seen as the villain of the 2010 World Cup exit, the Brazilian goalkeeper was trusted by his manager to be the number one at the World Cup even when he was on the bench at QPR. He returned that trust and guided Brazil over an enormous hurdle. What comes next? Netherlands vs Mexico (12pm/9am) and Greece vs Costa Rica (4pm/1pm). Burning question for Sunday Do the Netherlands have the midfield trio to be able to match up and keep the ball off Mexicos effective midfield three? Stat of Day 17 Eight of the last nine teams to win a World Cup penalty shootout have taken the first penalty. Minnesota Twins Jerseys .Steamboat Ski Resort contends Steamboat Springs, Colorado has long been known as Ski Town, U.S.A., and claims in a new lawsuit that Salt Lake tourism officials violated their trademark when they rolled out the Ski City marketing campaign last month. Kirby Puckett Jersey . The 31-year-old Russian dominated the No. 3-ranked Ferrer throughout, breaking the defending champion and local favourite four times on the indoor hard court.LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly had enough confidence to keep Chris Withrow on the mound with one out in the eighth inning after he walked the bases loaded. It paid off against two of the toughest outs in the majors. Withrow struck out Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to escape the jam and help preserve a 6-3 victory for Paul Maholm and the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night. "Obviously, you dont like to see the bases loaded with those guys coming up," Maholm said. "But youve got confidence in Chris because with the stuff he has, he can strike out anybody and get out of anything he gets himself into." Withrow, a first-round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2007, relieved Maholm with a 5-2 lead and walked the bases loaded. But Gonzalez, who has hit 15 homers against the Dodgers since the start of the 2010 season, fanned on a 1-2 pitch and Tulowitzki whiffed on a 2-2 delivery. "Thats a perfect situation for me and Tulo to change the game, but it didnt happen tonight," Gonzalez said. Adrian Gonzalez homered for the third straight game and Matt Kemp also went deep in support of Maholm (1-2). The left-hander threw 84 pitches over seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits in his fourth start with the defending NL West champions. "Everything was working," Maholm said. "I was able to throw breaking balls for strikes. I fell behind some guys, but I was confident enough in my sinker to throw it behind in the count and get some groundballs. I felt way more in rhythm today than I have in any other outing." Maholm, a veteran left-hander who signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract as a free agent in February, had lost his previous seven decisions against the Rockies and was 1-8 with a 6.63 ERA in 10 career starts against them. "I cant tell you I was the most confident person going to the mound, knowing my history against them," Maholm said. "But I havent faced them in a few years, and I think Ive changed as a pitcher since then. Besides, I wasnt pitching in Colorado, so you just go out there, try to get ahead and get groundballs." Yasiel Puig added an insurance run in the ninth with a ground-rule double, and Kenley Jansen got three outs for his ninth save after Brian Wilson walked the first two batters in the ninth -- one of whom scored on a bases-loaded groundout by Charlie Culberson. Juan Nicasio (2-1) gave up five runs and eight hiits in 4 1-3 innings for Colorado. Jason Kubel Jersey. The Dodgers grabbed a 3-1 lead with three runs in the third, capped by Kemps towering drive to right field that barely cleared Brandon Barnes outstretched glove as he made a leaping try. Kemp initially thought he was robbed of a homer -- as did the crowd of 45,241 -- until Barnes opened his empty glove. A relieved Kemp then continued his jog around the bases with a huge grin after his second homer in 52 at-bats since the pair he hit against San Franciscos Matt Cain on April 6 at Dodger Stadium. "I thought he caught the ball. Then I saw him slam his glove on the ground and that showed me that he didnt, so I was happy about that," Kemp said. Puig added a two-out RBI single in the fourth -- the first time this season that hes driven in runs in back-to-back games after his home run and RBI single Friday night. Gonzalez led off the fifth with his 1,500th career hit, an opposite-field homer to left that gave the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. The Rockies opened the scoring in the third on Barnes two-out RBI single. Colorado got another run in the fifth on Justin Morneaus RBI single, following a double to centre by Wilin Rosario that Kemp lost in the twilight. But second baseman Gordon kept the damage to a minimum when he robbed DJ LeMahieu of a single up the middle with a diving play and started an inning-ending double play with a backhanded flip to shortstop Justin Turner. NOTES: Ramirez left the game because of a bruised right thumb. X-rays were negative. ... Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will throw another bullpen session Monday, following the 56-pitch minor league rehab start he had on Friday night with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Mattingly would prefer one more rehab start for the two-time Cy Young Award winner, who hasnt pitched since the season opener on March 22 in Australia because of a muscle strain in his upper back. "I know our medical staff does. Im not sure if Kersh buys into that," Mattingly said. "Theres been a small debate going on, but I dont want to be a part of the debate. Well just see how his pen goes, and go from there. He felt good today. He said he felt like he didnt even pitch." ... Colorado RHP Chris Martin made his big league debut with a scoreless seventh inning, a day after the team purchased his contract from Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games with a sixth-inning single. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '