Brazilians, closer to World Cup dream, jump in ocean

Rio de Janeiro: Joyous Brazilians jumped in the ocean, threw beer in the air and launched fireworks after their football team took a step closer to a dream World Cup final.

From Rio de Janeiro`s Copacabana beach to packed bars in Sao Paulo and the capital Brasilia, Brazilians leaped and kissed each other after the 2-1 quarter-final victory over Colombia, setting up a semi-final against Germany.

"I think Brazil are playing better every game. They`ll win the cup. This Selecao has a lot of heart," said Vinicius Morais, an 18-year-old street vendor at the official Fan Fest attended by 25,000 people in Copacabana.

About 100 fans jumped straight into the sea, most fully clothed, after the final whistle, as smoke from dozens of flares filled the air while others sang "I`m Brazilian."

Another 25,000 people were at the Fan Fest in downtown Sao Paulo, where people celebrated by jumping in the air, kissing and hugging.

"I suffered a lot during the game but less than against Chile," said Erick Silva, 28, an urban planning analyst, referring to the penalty shootout thriller in the last-16 round.

"We are going to win the cup against Argentina in the final," he said, hoping for a clash of titans between the South American historic rivals.

Brazil is under massive pressure to win at home and avoid a repeat of its defeat to Uruguay in the 1950 final in Rio de Janeiro, a national trauma at the time.

Losing would also be a major disappointment for President Dilma Rousseff after a troubled runup to the tournament plagued by stadium construction delays and record USD 11 billion spending that sparked protests.

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