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Brazil beats Colombia 2-1 to reach World Cup semifinals; Neymar injured

FORTALEZA, Brazil — Neymar or no Neymar, Brazil will play Germany for a spot in the World Cup final.

The host nation advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 12 years Friday, beating Colombia 2-1 with the goals coming from defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz.

But the celebration was quickly tempered when team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar will miss the rest of the tournament after fracturing his third vertebra. The star striker was kneed in the back by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga in the 86th minute and was in tears when he was carried off the field on a stretcher. He was taken to a private clinic and was released a short time later.

"He will not be in condition to play. He will need a few weeks to be fit again," Lasmar said. "He is very, very sad."

The 22-year-old forward is Brazil's biggest star and had scored four goals in his first World Cup.

Brazil will also be without Silva for Tuesday's match against Germany in Belo Horizonte. The captain must sit out after getting his second yellow card for impeding Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina.

Brazil, which is trying to become the first host to win since France in 1998, had been eliminated in the quarterfinals at the past two World Cups.

Silva gave Brazil the lead in the seventh minute, scoring with his left knee after a corner from Neymar passed through the Colombian defense.

Luiz added the second from a free kick in the 69th, sending a swerving long-range shot off the inside of his foot and into the top of the net.

Colombia got one back in the 80th. James Rodriguez, 22, scored his tournament-leading sixth goal from the penalty spot after Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar brought down substitute Carlos Bacca inside the area.

Brazil beats Colombia 2-1 to reach World Cup semifinals; Neymar injured 07/04/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 4, 2014 11:23pm]
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