FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Luiz Felipe Scolari thinks Brazil may be at an advantage by playing in the World Cup quarterfinals against a Colombia team that likes to attack often.
Scolari said he knows it will be a very tough match on Friday, but expects Brazil to face fewer difficulties than it did in the second-round game against a feisty and more defensive-minded Chilean team.
The Brazilian coach said he doesn't expect "a war" against Colombia, unlike something he'd expect more against other South American rivals.
"The matches against Colombia are very tough, they have a very good team," Scolari said Thursday. "But it's different. It's a different type of rivalry. When we don't have this war atmosphere, our players feel more at ease. Teams like Argentina, Uruguay and Chile don't let that happen."
Brazil struggled against Chile and was never able to impose its game. After a 1-1 draw, the tournament hosts needed a great performance by goalkeeper Julio Cesar in the penalty shootout to keep alive their hopes of a sixth world title.
The Colombian team has been thriving at the World Cup with an upbeat style that is both thrilling and effective. While Brazil won two of its three group games and needed a shootout to advance from the second round, the Colombians had no difficulty beating their first four opponents.
"I like to watch Colombia play. It's a very organized team, has tactical discipline and a lot of quality," Scolari said. "But they play just like our team plays. There's nothing different. And we know that we have some qualities that may cause some damage to them."
Led by exciting young playmaker James Rodriguez, Colombia has already scored 11 goals, just one less than the Netherlands, the tournament's top-scoring team.
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