For once this tournament, Brazil were buoyant.
Thiago Silva's redemptive goal had set the tone in their World Cup quarter-final against Colombia. When David Luiz added a sensational second after the interval, it looked like being the night on which their title hopes truly came back to life.
But that was before the real news of the evening filtered through.
Neymar had left the field on a stretcher following a clumsy challenge by Juan Zuñiga in the second half before being taken to hospital. The forward had appeared to be in some pain on the way down the tunnel, clutching his lower back and grimacing.
After the final whistle, the coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted that he would be a doubt for the semi-final against Germany. But even that uncertainty – that sweet, hopeful uncertainty – was soon snatched away from Brazil. Neymar, the team doctor revealed an hour or so later, had fractured a vertebrae. He will miss the rest of the World Cup.
Read the rest of this piece on the Yahoo! Eurosport site.