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Brazilian Star Neymar Breaks Vertebrae, Out of World Cup


Brazil will also play the next match without captain Thiago Silva, who will be forced to sit out for one game, after earning his second yellow card on Friday. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Brazil will also play the next match without captain Thiago Silva, who will be forced to sit out for one game, after earning his second yellow card on Friday. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Brazil's team doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar, says superstar striker Neymar will miss the rest of the World Cup after breaking a vertebrae during the team's quarterfinal win over Colombia.

According to the Associated Press, Lasmar told reporters after the team defeated Colombia in the quarter finals of the World Cup on Friday that the striker had broken his third vertebrae.

Neymar was kneed in the back by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga in the second half of Brazil's 2-1 quarterfinal win over Colombia on Friday. He was crying in pain as he was carried off the field on a stretcher.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said earlier Friday evening that Neymar may not be able to play against Germany in the World Cup semifinals due to his injury.

"We lost Neymar on that play and based on what I've seen, I think it's going to be tough for him to play," Scolari said. "He was kneed in his lower back, and he was crying out in pain, and I can guarantee it won't be easy for him to recover based on what the doctor told us. Let's hope everything goes well."

Brazil will also play the next match without captain Thiago Silva, who will be forced to sit out for one game, after earning his second yellow card on Friday.

Germany and Brazil emerged victorious in the World Cup quarterfinals Friday, setting up an epic battle in the semifinals between what many believe are the world's top two football powers.

In Friday's first game, Germany beat European rival France, 1-0, in a hard-fought match in Rio de Janeiro.

German defender Mats Hummels scored the game's only goal in the 13th minute of the first half. He leaped over a French defender on a free kick by Toni Kroos and guided a header into the net.

French star Karim Benzema had a wonderful opportunity to tie the game late in stoppage time, shooting uncontested from the left of the net. But German goalie Manuel Neuer, who has had an outstanding World Cup, raised an arm to deflect the kick.

Hummels Overcomes Flu

Hummels, who also scored off a header in Germany's 4-0 win over Portugal in group play, missed his team's Round of 16 match against Algeria after catching flu. It was uncertain if he would even start against France.

"I guess we're playing the kind of football that will give us the chance to win," Hummels said. "We know France is among the top teams, so it was certainly not a walk in the park. It was not a perfect match, but it was a pretty good match, and I think we deserved to go on."

Germany is seeking its fourth World Cup championship. It has not won one since West Germany captured its third championship in 1990.

In Fortaleza Friday, five-time champion Brazil benefited from goals by two defenders, Thiago Silva and David Luiz, to beat Colombia, 2-1.

Silva scored using his knee in the seventh minute, after a corner kick by star striker Neymar. Luiz made it 2-0 in the 69th minute with a beautifully-placed free kick that landed in the top of the net.

In the 80th minute, Colombia came within one when James Rodriguez scored his tournament-leading sixth goal on a penalty shot.

Colombia, which is tied with the Netherlands for most goals in the World Cup with 12, was playing in its first-ever quarterfinal.

Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002. It lost to Uruguay in the championship game in Rio de Janeiro in 1950, the last time Brazil hosted the World Cup.

Argentina Versus Belgium

In quarterfinal play Saturday, Argentina faces Belgium in Brasilia, and the Netherlands takes on Costa Rica in Salvador.

Argentina and Belgium have both won their four World Cup games. The Argentines will be counting on one of the world's greatest players, striker Lionel Messi, who has four goals in the tournament. But one of Argentina's key defenders, Marcos Rojo, will not be playing. He was suspended for one game due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

The Belgians have one of the top goalkeepers in the world, Thibout Courtois.

The Dutch, who lost in the World Cup final in 2010 to Spain, possess an explosive offense led by striker Robin van Persie and midfielder Arjen Robben. Costa Rica is the tournament's biggest surprise, having qualified for the quarterfinals for the first time.

The championship game is July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.

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