Brazil 0 – 3 Netherlands (van Persie 3 (pen), Blind 16, Wijnaldum 91)
Brazil crashed to another painful defeat in front of their home fans in the space of a week, as Netherlands secured 3rd place at the Estadio Nacional, Brasilia.
Despite the 7-1 thrashing meted out to them by Germany, interest hadn’t wavered, and there were hordes of fans all over the country lining up at fan miles to watch the games. In Brasilia, the team was cheered as they trained before the match, while the loudest cheer was reserved for Barcelona star Neymar. There, however were loud boos when the names of Luiz Felipe Scolari and striker Fred were blurted out as the teams were being announced.
Thiago Silva returned to the squad after completing his suspension, while a 3rd PSG defender in left-back Maxwell also got a start ahead of Real Madrid’s Marcelo. Luiz Gustavo was preferred to Fernandinho to play alongside Paulinho in the centre of midfield, while Atletico Mineiro forward Jo, formerly of Manchester City; Willian and Ramires of Chelsea, too were handed starts in a series of changes made by Luis Felipe Scolari. van Gaal started with Feyenoord midfielder Jordy Claise instead of the injured AC Milan hardman Nigel de Jong and Swansea’s Jonathan de Guzman.
After a national anthem delivered with passion, Brazil were quickly undone as captain Thiago Silva pulled Robben, and the referee had no option but to award the Dutch a free kick. Robin van Persie made no mistake from the spot, to score his first goal since the group stages. The mood at the stadium changed suddenly, fearing a repeat of the previous game.
Their fears started getting stronger, as Netherlands raced to a 2-0 lead, just 13 minutes later, as David Luiz’s clearance fell straight to enterprising midfielder Daley Blind’s feet. The Ajax man made no mistake as his shot hit the roof of the net.
There was however little response from the home side as the well drilled Dutch made life tough. Despite some reasonably good attacking moves, Brazil failed to create a single chance of substance in the first half and were booed as they trudged their way back to the dressing rooms.
Both teams looked content at playing out the second half, with a largely irritant crowd booing whenever Scolari’s face appeared on the big screen. There were few sparks though, as Ramires’ shot flew wide, before Oscar was booked for diving, a decision that could have gone either ways.
Netherlands, however completed the rout in injury time, as PSV’s attacking midfielder Giorginio Wijnaldum completed the rout. It was a happy ending for a Netherlands side that promised so much at the start of the tournament, but were undone by Argentina’s solidity, but for Brazil, it will be another painful defeat in a harrowing defeat for their players and fans alike.
To make matters worse, they will have to endure watching their fierce rivals Argentina face off their tormentors Germany at the iconic Maracana.
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