Following one of the most exciting Group Stages in World Cup history, the knockout stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil couldn’t have provided us with a more thrilling start.
The round of 16 kicked off earlier today with host nation Brazil taking on their South American rivals, Chile. The Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte was packed with thousands of anxious Brazilian fans who made their voices heard right from the get-do, during the national anthems—booing the Chilean anthem while singing their own with vigor:
Then came the game, which saw both teams exchange first half goals.
First came David Luiz‘s tip-in on a corner kick during the 18th minute:
But Chile responded just 14 minutes later, via this goal from Alexis Sanchez:
That was all the scoring that took place during 90 minutes of regulation, injury time, and another 30 minutes of extra time. But that’s not to say both teams didn’t have their fair share of chances.
Early in the second half, Brazil thought they had the go-ahead goal when Hulk brought down a cross in the box and slid it by Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, but it was ruled a handball by the referee:
Then, during the final minute of extra time, Mauricio Pinilla rang what would surely have been the game-winning goal straight off the crossbar:
That blast off the woodwork meant the first game of the knockout stage at the 2014 FIFA World Cup was heading to penalty kicks. And after each team scored on just two of their first four attempts, it came down to Neymar for Brazil and Chile’s Gonzalo Jara.
That’s when Neymar did this:
And Jara did this:
Final Score: 1-1 (Brazil wins 3-2 on penalties).
Up next: Colombia vs. Uruguay. Good luck matching that opening act from Brazil and Chile. No pressure.