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May 28, 2017

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Luiz stunner sends Brazil into semifinals

FORTALEZA, Brazil--A sensational David Luiz free kick took Brazil into the World Cup semifinals with a 2-1 victory over Colombia but the tournament hosts saw star striker Neymar carried off in agony.

Brazil's captain Thiago Silva will also be suspended for Tuesday's semifinal against Germany after he followed up his first World Cup goal with his second yellow card of the tournament.

Brazil are in the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 12 years and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is one step nearer his vow to win the cup for a sixth time.

But Scolari buried his head in his hands when he saw Silva booked and faces an anxious wait for news of Neymar who was reportedly taken to hospital for tests.

Neymar was stretchered off with a back injury after being clattered by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga. Globo television said the Brazilian star was taken away in an ambulance.

Colombia's James Rodriguez extended his lead as the tournament's top scorer with his sixth goal in five games from the penalty spot after Julio Cesar brought down Carlos Bacca.

But Colombia now leave and Brazil move on to only their second World Cup meeting with Germany in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. The Germans beat France 1-0 earlier in the day.

"I think that in the analysis of the match, the early goal for Brazil made a big difference because we are not used to conceding goals like this and that drained us of confidence a bit," lamented Colombia boss Jose Pekerman.

"Going ahead so early calmed them down and that was very important."

However, Pekerman was full of praise for the way in which Colombia had captivated the world in their first appearance at the finals since 1998.

"After being absent form the World Cup for a long time the performance here has made Colombian football valued. We have shown we have some very talented players and also competed with an important spirit."

Brazil Roared On

Roared off on by a fervent home crowd, the hosts made a fast start and were ahead inside seven minutes.

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