Brazil 0-1 Colombia: Murillo keeps things close in Group C

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After a late win against Peru in their first match of Group C, Brazil looked to double their points tally with victory over Colombia, who surprisingly lost to Venezuela in their opening game.

Colombia began strongly, dominating the midfield early on as they set out to prove they had learnt  from the defeat to Venezuela.

The first real sight of goal from either side came as Carlos Sánchez struck from 25 yards, with the ball deflecting its way past Jefferson’s goal.

In the 35th minute Radamel Falcao was fouled by Fred. From the free kick Juan Cuadrado whipped in a good ball that Cristián Zapata kept alive, before Jeison Murillo slammed the ball home to put Colombia a goal up – his first ever international goal.

A few minutes before half-time James Rodríguez fired the ball to the feet of Teófilo Gutiérrez, playing a neat flick back to Cuadrado, who drilled wide.

In the final chance of the half Brazil almost drew level. The ball was clipped in to Neymar who forced a double save out of David Ospina, firstly from a header and secondly from what appeared to be an effort with his hand.

The first half ended as frantically as it had played out from the off, with Colombia holding a deserved lead at the break.

Brazil began the second half on the front foot following the introduction of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho. Neymar broke towards goal but dragged his shot well off after 48 minutes.

At the other end Cuadrado found space, eventually launching slightly off target from the edge of the box.

In the 57th minute Arsenal’s Ospina made a mess of a back pass, in the end the ball found its way to Roberto Firmino, recently linked with a move to Manchester United, who somehow blasted over the crossbar.

With 20 minutes remaining Brazil were still struggling to crack a resolute Colombian defence, with the likes of Víctor Ibarbo, Cuadrado and James keeping Los Cafeteros a threat on the counter.

With two minutes remaining James took on the Brazilian defence before flashing his shot inches away from creeping inside the far post.

That was the closest either side came in the latter stages, meaning Colombia recover from their shock defeat to Venezuela, while Brazil’s run of 11 straight wins comes to an end.

Brazil: Jefferson, Alves, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis, Fernandinho, Elías (Tardelli 76), Willian (Douglas 69), Fred (Coutinho 46), Neymar, Firmino

Colombia: Ospina, Zúñiga, Murillo, Zapata, Armero, Cuadrado, Sánchez, Valencia (Mejía 80), James Rodríguez, Teófilo (Bacca 76), Falcao (Ibarbo 69)

Booked:  Teófilo, Fernandinho, Firmino, Neymar

Goalscorers: Murillo

Man of the Match: Carlos Sánchez. Similar to Javier Mascherano in Argentina’s tie with Uruguay, Sánchez was everywhere today. Every time Brazil looked to create a gap he plugged it in an excellent performance.