FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Full of tears and inconsolable, the World Cup's leading scorer is going home.
James Rodriguez put Colombia back into the match against Brazil by scoring a late penalty Friday, but it wasn't enough. The playmaker then broke down after his team lost 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
"We are sad, but we are so proud because we left everything out there," Rodriguez said. "We gave everything to advance. Men also cry, especially when you feel like this."
Brazil defender David Luiz, whose superb free kick turned out to be the deciding goal, tried to comfort Rodriguez, putting his arm around him. The players exchanged shirts and Luiz applauded Rodriguez as he slowly walked toward the tunnel.
Before he got there, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman gave him a hug.
"I tried to calm him down because he deserves huge congratulations," Pekerman said.
At 22, Rodriguez had become the most feared man among Brazil fans. His six goals are two more than Brazil forward Neymar has managed and his 80th-minute penalty ignited a late surge in Fortaleza that made the home fans tense.
"He is an outstanding player, a huge talent, he has ambitions," Pekerman said. "He has tried to do his best in a hard match. This is an elimination that leaves one of the best players in the World Cup out of the tournament."