Chile and Brazil both press early, Brazil tire after half

Brazil are through on penalties. It's disappointing to see the tournament's most tactically exciting team in Chile eliminated in this fashion.

The first half was exceptional and was defined by both teams pressing high up the pitch. Brazil had the better opening half, winning back possession in Chile's half and attacking quickly and directly. It appeared that Scolari was looking to kill the game off early then sit deeper in the second half and protect the lead, knowing his side wouldn't have the legs to maintain their relentless pressing for 90 minutes. The strategy probably should have worked. Brazil got their early lead and had chances to add to it. Had they bagged a second it would have been a long way back for Chile.

Hulk's mistake that led to Alexis Sanchez's equalizer made life difficult for Brazil in the second half. Having used so much energy to press in the first half, they looked tired after the break and couldn't move the ball with enough pace to trouble Chile in the attacking third. They defended deeper, didn't put the Chile midfielders under pressure and it was all fairly comfortable for the visitors. The graphic below shows Brazil's tackles in the first half compared to the second half. In the first half they were winning the ball back higher up the pitch, leaving Chile's defense out of position. In the second half they were winning the ball back in deeper areas but failed to create much on the counter. Chile play with three center backs so are a different team to exploit on the break.

Chile, a side used to pressing for the full 90 minutes, looked the much better side. A fine save from Julio Cesar to deny Charles Aranguiz and Mauricio Pinilla's late effort off the crossbar nearly put the host nation out of the tournament.

The pressing made for a somewhat sloppy encounter. Neither side had time on the ball so we didn't see many long spells of possession or patient passing moves up the pitch. Brazil completed just 69% of their second half passes, a remarkably low number for such a talented side.