Brazil continued their unconvincing pursuit of home FIFA World Cup glory by edging out Colombia 2-1 in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Tipped by some to exit against a side who have been the talk of the tournament, Luiz Felipe Scolari's men progressed thanks to goals from Thiago Silva and David Luiz in Fortaleza, the latter a superb 25-yard free-kick.
Man-of-the-moment James Rodriguez pulled one back from the spot for Colombia in the 80th minute, yet Brazil held on to book a semi-final meeting with Germany.
However, Brazil will head into the last four with a series of worries, most notably the suspension of Silva and an injury to star man Neymar.
Silva picked up a needless yellow card in the second period, while Neymar was carried off on a stretcher late on to put a dark cloud over Brazil's win.
The duo's potential absences, combined with another workmanlike showing, will do little to dispel claims from the likes of Diego Maradona that Brazil are not good enough to win the tournament.
Much had been made of Brazil's perceived mental frailties ahead of the match, with players coming under fire for crying during renditions of the national anthem and Scolari's decision to call in a sports psychologist grabbing headlines.
Despite such scrutiny, the hosts made a flying start to surge ahead after seven minutes.
Silva was the hero, sneaking behind Carlos Sanchez and kneeing home at the back post from close range after Colombia fatally failed to clear Neymar's corner.
Behind for the first time in the competition, Colombia found an immediate response as Juan Cuadrado's effort was deflected just wide.
Yet it was still Brazil looking the more purposeful, Hulk twice forcing good stops from David Ospina.
Colombia wasted a Rodriguez-led four-on-two counter-attack in between those saves, with the game's end-to-end nature making for a thrilling spectacle.
The second period did not assume the same pace, Jose Pekerman's side failing to find the fluency that has been their calling card.
Indeed, the biggest moment of those exchanges came when Silva collided with Ospina, the subsequent yellow card ruling him out of the next phase.
With chances few and far between, it took a moment of brilliance from Luiz to leave Brazil on the brink of the last four after 69 minutes.
Rodriguez, so often Colombia's star, crucially brought down Hulk 25 yards from goal, paving the way for Luiz to send a stunning curler beyond Ospina.
But just when it seemed a nation could calm down, there was a twist when Julio Cesar felled Carlos Bacca in the area.
The goalkeeper was fortunate not to be shown a red, although that had little impact on tournament top-scorer Rodriguez - who continued his record of scoring in every game when he coolly sent Cesar the wrong way.
As if the tension was not palpable enough, many in attendance were left with heads in hands late on as Neymar was taken from the field.
The departure of their talisman did not stop his team-mates from defending outstandingly, although Brazil's win came at a cost.
|3||Thiago Silva||7' 64'|
|Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari|
for Hulk 83'
for Paulinho 86'
for Neymar 88'
|Pogba ´very happy´ at Juve|
|Pogba can be Europe´s greatest - Pirlo|
|Pinedo stays in Argentina, Bolivia captain Raldes in Copa America squad|
|Quinteros cuts Banguera, Hidalgo for Chile showpiece|
|Injured Gonzalez misses Copa America, Venezuela finalise youthful squad|
|Champions League Final: Buffon plays down Juve hopes, Iniesta doubtful|
|Karlsruher 1 Hamburg 2 (2-3 agg): Muller strike ensures survival|
|CONCACAF official Sanz banned by FIFA|
|Gourvennec shuns admirers with Guingamp extension|
|Pastore signs PSG extension|
|Morel swaps Marseille for Lyon|
|Watford sign Austria defender Prodl|
|Monaco confirm Berbatov departure|
|Peru v Mexico: Herrera confident as Copa preparations continue|
|Injury rules Dost out of Netherlands friendlies|
|Koeman must strengthen attack for Europa League challenge - McMenemy|
|Wilshere apologises for Spurs taunts|
|Marchisio: No fear ahead of Barcelona clash|
|Klopp to take break after leaving Dortmund|
|Champions League win would be ´more than extraordinary´ - Allegri|
|Charity calls for education after Leicester ´racist orgy´ claims|
|Taylor agrees Swansea deal|
|Sevilla snare Krohn-Dehli|
|Coloccini hails Gutierrez after ´perfect´ Newcastle finale|
|Benitez excited by Madrid opportunity|
|Sampaoli confirms final Chile squad for Copa America|
|Clement ready to go it alone at Derby|
|Mihajlovic confirms Sampdoria exit|
|Brentford turn to Dijkhuizen|
|Usami, Moto to lead Japan qualifying threat|
|Vieira ´the best bet´ for Newcastle - Bernard|
|´We´ll see what happens with my future´ - De Gea|
|Klinsmann: Guzan will start at Gold Cup|
|Alves wants Barca extension not PSG - Blanc|
|Derby appoint Paul Clement as head coach|
|Karlsruher ´can only win´ - Kauczinski|
|Ronaldinho causes stir with disallowed goal|
|Szczesny plans Arsenal stay|
|Pioli: Lazio deserve Champions League qualification|
|Pablo Aimar makes River Plate return|
|MLS Review: Seattle leave it late against Red Bulls|
|Wenger: Arsenal won´t spend big|
|Police to investigate Rangers-Motherwell fight|
|´I will definitely stay´ at City - Toure|
|Champagne backs Blatter to reform FIFA|
|Honduras 2 El Salvador 0: Penalty, goal and red card to Lozano|
|Mancini wants Icardi to stay|
|Sampdoria set to speak on Mihajlovic future|
|Serie A Review: Napoli miss Champions League in Benitez send-off|
|O´Neill: Fitness of players will determine selection against Romania|
|Inter 4 Empoli 3: Icardi brace secures victory|
|Northern Ireland 1 Qatar 1: Irish cough up lead|
|Eredivisie Review: Five-star Vitesse seal Europa berth, NAC Breda relegated|
|Motherwell 3 Rangers 0 (6-1 agg): Miserable return for McCall|
|Wilshere taunts Spurs during FA Cup parade|
|Di Francesco pens Sassuolo extension|
|Klopp thanks Dortmund for emotional farewell|
|Italy call up uncapped duo|
|Walcott expects Arsenal deal|
|Luiz dreaming of Champions League glory|
|Leicester trio issue apology as club investigate alleged ´racist orgy´|
|Gerrard ´a dream to play with´, says Sturridge|
|Clasie a target if Schneiderlin leaves - Koeman|
|Muller appears to pledge future to Bayern in Instagram post|
|Sheikh Mansour wants Toure at City - agent|
|Real vice-president inadvertently ´confirms´ Benitez appointment|
|Pique targeting Barca ´perfection´|
|Malanda helped us a lot - De Bruyne|
|Falcao not focused on transfer speculation|
|Iniesta in doubt for Champions League final|
|Blanc hoping for FFP boost|
|Willian, Filipe Luis, Cuadrado to miss Premier League start|
|Mourinho: Chelsea not playing Sydney ´for fun´|
|MLS Review: Shipp sinks Montreal, Giovinco stars for Toronto|
|Luis Enrique targets ´exemplary treble´, basks in Messi´s magic|
|Iraola: Neymar ´rainbow´ unsporting|
|Mexico 3 Guatemala 0: Herrera brace ensures farewell victory|
|´I´m not going to change the way I play´ - Neymar|
|PSG motivated by historic opportunity - Douchez|
|Wenger hopes Wembley win convinces Walcott to stay|
|Klopp refuses to dwell on departure after cup heartbreak|