Rising star Rodriguez confident his classy Colombians can beat off Brazil

Colombia's James Rodriguez, right, scores his side's second goal past Uruguay's goalkeeper Fernando Muslera during the World Cup. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Colombia's James Rodriguez, right, scores his side's second goal past Uruguay's goalkeeper Fernando Muslera during the World Cup. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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James Rodriguez, one of the stars of the World Cup, is confident Colombia can beat hosts Brazil in their historic quarter-final.

Los Cafeteros wrote themselves into the record books on Saturday as they made it through to the last-eight for the first time in their history courtesy of an impressive 2-0 win against Uruguay.

Rodriguez, like so many times over the past few weeks, was the undoubted star of the show at the Maracana as he netted arguably the best individual effort of the tournament before finishing off one of the best team goals.

The 22-year-old’s brace means Colombia will now take on Brazil in Fortaleza on Friday – a match they approach with the pressure off.

“We’re very happy because we are making history,” Rodriguez said, collecting his third man-of-the-match award of the tournament.

“As a younger man, I always wanted to be here. That was a great dream of mine and we hope that we can make it far.

“It is a dream and we are making history and we want to do even more because this is a team that wants to win a lot.

“There is no pressure. Obviously, they have their good players, they play well but I believe they must also follow us closely.

“We have good players and we can be dangerous, so this is going to be a beautiful match. It will be something extraordinary for us to play.”

Brazil squeezed through to the quarter-finals after coming within a whisker of going out against an accomplished Chile side.

Neymar’s penalty in the shootout proved decisive when Chile’s ex-Nottingham Forest, West Brom and Brighton defender Gonzalo Jara smashed the final spot-kick against the post.

The win – 1-1 after extra time and 3-2 on penalties – keeps Brazil’s dreams alive of winning a World Cup on home soil – and their record of not losing a competitive match at home since 1975.

Chile had taken Brazil all the way in Belo Horizonte, dominating for long spells of the second half and nearly snatching it at the death through Mauricio Pinilla’s stunning strike which struck the crossbar.

Brazil had taken the lead through a goal awarded to David Luiz – even though it appeared to come off a Chile player – before Chile netted a deserved equaliser through Alexis Sanchez.

Pontus Jansson.
(Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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