Brazil continued their unconvincing pursuit of home FIFA World Cup glory by edging out Colombia 2-1 in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Tipped by some to exit against a side who have been the talk of the tournament, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men progressed thanks to goals from Thiago Silva and David Luiz in Fortaleza, the latter a superb 25-yard free-kick.
Man-of-the-moment James Rodriguez pulled one back from the spot for Colombia in the 80th minute, yet Brazil held on to book a semi-final meeting with Germany.
However, Brazil will head into the last four with a series of worries, most notably the suspension of Silva and an injury to star man Neymar.
Silva picked up a needless yellow card in the second period, while Neymar was carried off on a stretcher late on to put a dark cloud over Brazil’s win.
The duo’s potential absences, combined with another workmanlike showing, will do little to dispel claims from the likes of Diego Maradona that Brazil are not good enough to win the tournament.
Much had been made of Brazil’s perceived mental frailties ahead of the match, with players coming under fire for crying during renditions of the national anthem and Scolari’s decision to call in a sports psychologist grabbing headlines.