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Early Dutch goals prolong hosts’ nightmare, claim third place at 2014 World Cup

Jul 12, 2014, 5:56 PM EDT

robin_van_persie AP

A tournament that started with expectations of a sixth World Cup has ended in embarrassment for Brazil, whose defensive failings early in today’s third place match produced the team’s second straight loss. With a late goal from Georginio Wijnaldum build on early scores from Robin van Persie and Daley Blind, the Netherlands claimed a 3-0 win in today’s playoff, leaving the host nation on the wrong end of lopsided defeats to close its tournament.

Brazil came into today’s match in Brasília having suffered its most-lopsided defeat in tournament history, a 7-1, semifinal loss to Germany on Tuesday. Given an opportunity to save some face in the nation’s capital, the Seleçao conceded twice in the first 16 minutes, paving the way to a disappointing fourth place finish.

The Netherlands were on the board in the third minute when van Persie converted a penalty conceded by Thiago Silva. Just past the quarter-hour mark, a failed clearance from David Luiz left Daley Blind with an open shot from 12 yards out, with the defender’s finish high into Júlio César’s goal giving the Dutch early, unneeded insurance.

One minute into stoppage time, a cross from the right by Daryl Janmaat found Wijnaldum just outside the six-yard box, setting up the midfielder for a one-timed finish inside César’s left post.

With the victory, the Netherlands finish its World Cup undefeated, having done 5-0-2 (W-L-D) over the course of seven games. Brazil, on the other hand, went 3-2-2, losing the final two games of its competition.

The Netherlands opened the scoring almost immediately, with van Persie, at the edge of Brazil’s defensive third, releasing Robben behind the defense through the right channel. Silva, attempting to cover from his right-center back position, was late getting to the Dutch attacker and intentionally pulled him down from behind, just outside the penalty box. Committing a pair of apparent mistakes, referee Djamel Haïmoudi pointed to the penalty spot while only producing a yellow card for Silva. Van Persie’s ensuing conversion had the Netherlands up in the third minute.

source: AP

Daley Blind, center, celebrates with Bruno Martins Indi, right, after scoring his side’s second goal. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Thirteen minutes later, the Dutch doubled its lead, with Blind given too much time from near the penalty spot to beat César high and into the right of goal. Despite replays showing the Netherlands may have been offside in the buildup to the goal, Blind took advantage of a weak clearance from Luiz, whose header of a cross from the right found Blind open in front of goal.

On the brink of a second calamity, Brazil recovered, proving the more dangerous team over the half’s final half-hour, but only able to register one, long-range shot on Jasper Cillessen, the host nation went into intermission own two goals.

As play resumed in the second half, so did Brazil’s control, but shots on Cillessen were still hard to come by. Near the 70-minute mark, as Brazil started to push 60 percent possession for the match, the hosts had only managed two shots on target, with the Dutch’s five-man defense able to stop the Seleçao’s attacks as they reached the edge of the penalty area.

Brazil finally appeared to have generated a chance in the 70th minute when Oscar was taken down in the right of the area by Blind, who was stretchered off the field moments later with an apparent left knee injury. Haïmoudi, however, produced a yellow card on Oscar for dividing, leaving Brazil without a chance from the spot.

Over final, merciful 20 minutes, Brazil continued pushing toward the Dutch goal, maintaining hopes the Selecao could get on the scoresheet, if not salvage a result. Those hopes, however, couldn’t generates chances for the home side, who proved no more successful in the match’s last moments than they had since conceding the first two goals. Once Oscar saw yellow, the remainder of the match become it denouement, with Wijnaldum’s 91st minute finish completing the Dutch’s 3-0 romp.

With the final whistle, Brazil’s chance at redemption had gone, and if anything, the performance in Brasília only validated what had happened against the Germans. Whereas four weeks ago Brazil were picked to redeem 1950, the last five days have added another nightmare.

For the Dutch, however, the win caps once of the tournament’s surprise performances. Picked by many to exit the competition at the group stage, Louis van Gaal’s team claimed five wins in seven games, derailing Spain, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil along the way.

Though van Gaal will now moves back into the club world, he leaves his national team with new momentum. When Guus Hiddink takes over, he’ll inherit a squad of young but experienced players – players who’ll be able to leverage their surprise success at Euro 2016.


Brazil: César; Maicon, Silva, Luiz, Maxwell; Gustavo (Fernandinho 46′), Paulinho (Hernanes 57′); Ramires (Hulk 73′), Oscar, Willian; Jô

Goals: None

Netherlands: Cillessen (Vorm 92′); Kuyt; de Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Blind (Janmaat 70′); Clasie (Veltman 90′), Wijnaldum, de Guzman; Robben, van Persie

Goals: van Persie 3′, Blind 16′, Wijnaldum 91′

  1. seattlenative57 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    On the biggest stage of its competition, international soccer displays why it is not mainstream athletic entertainment. Knowing the referee erred the PK and yellow card, nothing is done. No correction, replay, nothing. All leading to a tarnished result. World soccer should do better. As such, it’s bush league sport.

    • reformed2012 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      these errors are gambler’s paradise. lots of $ made in this cup. bush league my a$$.

    • shearer09 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      “Not mainstream athletic entertainment”? Are you trying to be funny?

      It’s the most popular sport in the world by a mile. And even in the US, TV ratings have been running ahead of the NBA finals, World Series and Stanley Cup.

      You think it’s “bush league” because the game isn’t stopped for TV replays? Clueless.

  2. Damidwesterner - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    I’m pretty sure that ref won’t be called back to any further matches that mean anything. Maybe a home friendly or something, but nothing at this level.

  3. rmccleary97 - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    Even after pointing out the errors in officiating, Netherlands was clearly head and shoulders above Brazil today. If anything, today pointed out that while Brazil has talent, it’s struggling with the concept of team play. Little to no originality from the hosts (for almost 60 minutes, “boot it deep and hope someone runs under it” was the offensive plan of choice), a seemingly conscious decision to focus on being physical instead of trying to generate offense, still woeful defending at times, … the Selecao is good enough on talent alone to beat most countries, but in some ways coming away with 4th at this World Cup is a gift.

    Did not having Neymar really create that much difference between a team that (finally) looked dominant vs. an impressive Colombia squad and the shell of a team that showed up the last 2 games? If it does, the questions about Brazil’s mental toughness are even bigger than we all thought.

    The other thing that jumped out in the game: Robben looked positively dominant – but for his “well, I know I shouldn’t dive, I’m better than that” comment vs. Mexico, he spent quite a bit of time hurling himself to the turf in this game. Really disappointing.

  4. seattlenative57 - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:14 AM

    It’s bush league because its own rules aren’t enforced, everything is subject to interpretation which is frequently incorrect. There is no referee accountability. Incorrect and inaccurate calls by the officials ruin the game. Popularity and acceptance as a major sport are not the same thing, Inspector Clueseau.

  5. shearer09 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    “Popularity and acceptance as a major sport are not the same thing . . .”

    They are. It’s “accepted as a major sport” by more people than any other sport is.

    What you really mean is that you personally don’t accept it, despite its overwhelming popularity. Guess what — no one cares.

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