Soccer-Brazil players treating semi like a final

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SAO PAULO, July 4 (Reuters) - Brazil will play Germany next week in what the hosts' players are calling the final before the final and manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is facing selection dilemmas four days ahead of the semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 in a thrilling quarter-final on Friday but Neymar was injured and captain Thiago Silva got a second yellow card that will keep him out the showdown.

"We are in a situation that is slightly difficult for the Germany match but we have great players," Scolari told reporters.

"If everything has to be changed then we'll do that and I think we will have a great game."

His players agreed with forward Hulk and central defender David Luiz licking their lips at the thought of what will be only the second meeting between the two heavyweight sides in World Cup history.

"It will be a big game, a classic in world terms, and it will be very hard," said Luiz, who scored Brazil's second goal after 69 minutes with a stunning free kick and picked up the man of the match award.

Hulk said the semi will feel more like a final, which was the only time the two teams met before, in 2002, when Ronaldo scored twice to lead Brazil to a record fifth World Cup title.

"It will be a final but hopefully we'll make it to the (real final at the) Maracana," Hulk said.

"Every game is a final, there are no easy games," he added.

Brazil have won three and drawn two of their five World Cup matches and they were on top for most of Friday's game, until Colombia threw everything at them in the last quarter of the match.

Scolari lamented his team's inability to slow the game down after Luiz score their second in 69 minutes and said missed chances in the first half could have cost them.

"I think we had more good chances," Scolari said. "So when we concede the goal, which was when we lost possession, that obviously caused a momentary lack of calm and a whole avalanche came down on our team."

Scolari, nevertheless, congratulated his players for climbing five steps and said they now have two to go for the ultimate glory.

"We have a very difficult game ahead of us," said Scolari. "We knew we'd play A or B or C or D, Germany was in our path to get to the final, we knew this." (Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ed Osmond)