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Neymer out as Brazil advance

International Sports

Naymer in agony, he's out of WC.Naymer in agony, he's out of WC.Brazil forward Neymar has been ruled out of the World Cup with a back injury suffered in the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia.

The 22-year-old fractured a vertebra in his back when he was kneed in a challenge by Juan Zuniga.

"Brazil will be without their two most important players against Germany.

"Neymar is a huge loss but it opens up a chance for someone else and I would expect Willian to get his opportunity now."

Neymar was in tears when he carried off on a stretcher, before being taken to hospital in Fortaleza.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said: "Neymar was going to be hunted. For three matches that has been happening."

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told Brazil's SportTV: "Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play. He is very, very sad."

"It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilise it to recover."

Lasmar added that he expected the recovery period to take at least a few weeks.

Neymar recovered from thigh and knee injuries sustained in the second-round win over Chile to play against Colombia.

He has featured in all five of Brazil's matches at the 2014 Fifa World Cup and is their top scorer with four goals.

Neymar had a quiet game on Tuesday and was replaced in the 88th minute after Zuniga challenged him for a header in an incident that went unpunished by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.

Scolari said: "Not even a yellow card, nothing.

"People think Germany, these or the others, only they are hunted but not Neymar."

Zuniga said: "I never meant to hurt a player. It was a normal move.

"I was playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt."

Thiago Silva's early goal and a stunning David Luiz free-kick in the second half set up victory for Brazil, who withstood a late Colombia onslaught that saw James Rodriguez score an 80th-minute penalty.

Brazil meet Germany in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte at 21:00 BST on Tuesday.

The hosts' captain, Thiago Silva, will also miss that game through suspension after picking up a second booking of the tournament against Colombia.

The final will be held at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, 13 July

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