Since that quarterfinal encounter between Brazil and Colombia, the clash between the two countries has never been the same. It offers more ragged displays rather than rhythmic football and controversies just add more fuel. The Group Match encounter was no different either – Brazil won in a tight finish but the match left a bad taste due to a controversial referee decision.

In just ten minutes, Reinaldo Rueda’s boys had already turned the initial script and breached the Brazilian backline that had not digested any goals till now – the invincibility was overshadowed as Cuadrado put a tempered ball in the second stick that Luis Diaz turned into the best goal so far in Copa America. His foreshortening, in the form of a beautiful scissor shot, left Brazil reeling.

That goal forced Colombia to dish out a ragged and compact defence that kept Brazil at bay.

Neymar digested 7 big fouls and was disconnected from his teammates, but, still, the Selecao superstar moved on.

Brazil dominated the first half but struggled to convert their dominance into clear-cut chances as the hosts went into the break with a deficit.

The second half was practically one-way traffic as the five-time world champions continued to push forward in search of an equalizer. Brazil came close to equalizing when Neymar hit the post after rounding David Ospina.

The Colombian players seemed to hold off Brazil until a controversial moment created enough buzz.

Several Colombia defenders appeared distracted when Pitana accidentally intervened for the equalizer – the ball hitting him after Neymar had attempted a drilled pass – and Firmino would eventually nod home, leaving Rueda and his players hugely frustrated.

“The two goals for Brazil are different situations,” Rueda told reporters.

“With the first, I think that the situation with the referee caused a distraction in the players.”

“Brazil had to go out to find a way back into the game, they had good possession of the ball and the players who came on had an influence. That is perhaps why [the second half was different].”

“But we were incisive and in the end, it is a pity that the result could not be achieved.”

Juan Cuadrado was more direct in his criticism of the officials, stating on Twitter, accompanied by an image that lists the rules when the ball hits the referee, “It’s not that I’m a bad loser but the rules are the rules.”

He added, “Work, effort, discipline is stained by a mistake. Proud of my selection. Trusting in God that tomorrow will be better.”

The referee had seemingly wanted to stop play after the ball deflected off him.

But he changed his mind upon seeing that Brazil were still in possession.

Technically, the team in possession of the ball did not change so the referee was well within his right to allow play on.

However, a potential interception by a Colombian defender before the referee’s deflection paints a different picture.

That goal had allowed brazil to come back and until the last minute of the game, they pushed for the winner.

Neymar took a corner and Casemiro netted the winner.

“They came at us once and then stopped,” Casemiro said after the match.

“It was our attack against their defence. Colombia is a strong team but, as the coach requires, we are very strong mentally.”

Brazil have been rejuvenated in the last few years. The five-time world champions have not tasted defeat since suffering a 1-0 defeat to Argentina in a friendly in November 2019.

That defeat completed a five-game winless streak for Brazil but they have not looked back since.

They came into the clash with Colombia on a run of nine consecutive victories. And with seconds to go, it looked like their winning run was about to come to an end.

But Casemiro did not let that happen.

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