Brazil continued their winning romp through the Copa America on Wednesday, eking out a controversial 2-1 victory against Colombia after struggling most of the match to answer a magnificent bicycle-kick goal by Luis Diaz.
The 11th-hour win gave the “Selecao” a perfect nine points from three matches in the South American championships, and extended their current winning streak to 11 matches.
However, the victory was steeped in controversy: Brazil’s second-half equalizer, a Roberto Firmino header, was preceded by a Neymar pass that glanced off Argentine referee Nestor Pitana.
Colombia heatedly argued afterward that play should have been stopped, but Pitana ruled neither side was hindered and allowed the match to continue.
Disgruntled Colombia fans on social media turned the referee’s name into a viral hashtag, joking he had played as “Brazil’s 12th man.”
The resentment only grew when an unmarked Casemiro headed in the winner deep into stoppage time.
However, Colombia, who are second in Group B with four points from four matches, still secured a spot in the quarter-finals.
Porto winger Diaz opened the scoring in Rio de Janeiro in the 10th minute, when Juan Cuadrado lobbed an arcing cross from just outside the penalty area.
Diaz executed a spectacular bicycle kick to rifle the ball past Brazil keeper Weverton.