Colombia 2, Uruguay 0
James Rodriguez scored one of the best goals of the tournament and then added a second to put Colombia into the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time with a 2-0 win over Uruguay on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.
Rodriguez gave his team the lead with a stunning long-range volley on the turn in the 28th minute and netted the second from close range shortly after the break as Colombia dominated a Uruguay side that sorely missed banned striker Luis Suarez.
Rodriguez now has a tournament-leading five goals in Brazil and further enhanced his status as perhaps the tournamentís biggest revelation.
Uruguay struggled badly in attack without Suarez and his replacement Diego Forlan was substituted in the 53rd after a disappointing performance in probably his final World Cup appearance.
Colombia will play Brazil in the quarterfinals Friday in Fortaleza after the host beat Chile in a penalty shootout earlier Saturday.
Rodriguez showed once again that the Brazilians have every reason to be wary.
The opener was his most spectacular goal yet. He chested the ball down with his back to goal well outside the area and in one fluid motion turned around and fired a left-foot volley that went off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
His second was a perfectly executed team move as Colombia worked the ball over from the right flank to the left, where Pablo Armero sent in a cross that was met by Juan Cuadrado at the far post. Cuadrado headed back across goal toward Rodriguez, who slotted in from just a few yards (meters) out.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez responded with a double substitution, taking off Forlan and Alvaro Pereira for Gaston Ramirez and Cristhian Stuani. That livened up the attack, with goalkeeper David Ospina having to make good saves from Cristhian Rodriguez and Maxi Pereira before diving to push away a shot from Edinson Cavani in the 84th.
In the end, Uruguay simply couldnít cope without Suarez, who was banned for four months for biting an opponent in the group-stage victory against Italy that sent the team to the next round.
Brazil 3, Chile 2
Four years after making the mistake that led to Brazilís elimination from the last World Cup, Julio Cesar made the crucial saves that kept his team alive on home soil.
Cesar made two saves in a penalty shootout victory and watched Chileís last shot from the spot smack the post, helping save Brazil from a humiliating loss in the second round of the World Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The score was 1-1 after extra time, and Brazil ended up winning 3-2 on penalties to reach the quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive World Cup.
Cesar always admitted that his mistake on a ball crossed into the area in 2010 led to Brazilís 2-1 loss to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals in South Africa, something which left him devastated.
This time, there were only tears of joy after his player-of-the-match performance.
ďFour years ago I gave a very sad, angry and emotional interview,Ē Cesar said, wiping away tears. ďAnd today Iím doing this again, with happiness. Only God and my family know what I went through and still go through today, but I know that my story is not over with the Selecao.Ē