FORTALEZA, Brazil -- Not long after celebrating another all-important victory at the World Cup, Brazil was jolted by the loss of Neymar.

The tournament's poster boy with the dyed-blond fauxhawk fractured a vertebra in his back during Brazil's 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Colombia on Friday. The injury has ruled the striker out of the rest of the competition, dealing a massive blow to the team's chances of finally winning a World Cup at home.

Brazil advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 12 years, with the goals coming from Thiago Silva in the seventh minute and David Luiz in the 69th. But the jubilation was quickly tempered when Brazil team physician Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar broke his third vertebra and is expected to be out for several weeks, ruling him out of Tuesday's semifinal against Germany in Belo Horizonte.

"It's a situation that leaves us in a difficult position for the match against Germany," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "But we have great players, and if I have to change something I will do it and we will be OK."

Neymar, 22, has been the focal point of both the Brazilian team and the entire World Cup, and he lived up to expectations with four goals in the first three matches.

But he took a knee to the back from Juan Camilo Zuniga late in the match at the Arena Castelao.

Zuniga told reporters he was simply "defending my shirt."

"It was a normal move," he said. "I never meant to hurt a player."

The Brazilian star was crying in pain as he was carried off the field on a stretcher and was taken to a private clinic. He has since been released.

"He will not be in condition to play, he will need a few weeks to be fit again," Lasmar said. "He is very, very sad."

The foul on Neymar came toward the end of one of the dirtiest matches of the tournament as Brazil committed 31 fouls and Colombia had 23.

Brazil will also be without Silva against Germany. The captain must sit out after getting his second yellow card of the tournament after impeding Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina.

Colombia got one goal back in the 80th. James Rodriguez scored his tournament-leading sixth goal from the penalty spot after Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar brought down Carlos Bacca inside the area.

"They showed great spirit," Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said of his team.

INSIDE
Germany reaches its fourth straight Cup semifinals. PAGE 3

Saturday's QUARTERFINALS
Argentina vs. Belgium,
8:30 a.m., ABC
Netherlands vs. Costa Rica, 12:30 p.m., ESPN