OUT OF THEIR MISERY Dutch end Brazil’s World Cup with 3-0 win in 3rd-place game
BRASILIA---Brazil’s nightmare World Cup finally ended on Saturday as they fell to Holland 3-0 in the third place game at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha.
Prior to Tuesday, Brazil had only lost once before by three goals or more. Saturday’s defeat makes it twice in four days. For the three-time runners-up Dutch, the win is their first in a third place match. They lost in the final in 1974, 1978 and 2010. They finished fourth in 1998.
It took only two minutes for the Dutch to take a lead, although it was the result of a pair of questionable calls by Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi. Thiago Silva pulled down Arjen Robben at the edge of the penalty area. Silva should have been red carded for denying the scoring opportunity, but instead he was given a yellow and Holland awarded a penalty kick. Robin van Persie converted the penalty kick, putting his shot into the right side of the net.
The Dutch doubled the lead in the 17th minute on a play that could have been offside, but instead ended with a defensive miscue and a Dutch goal. David Luiz tried to clear a cross in the area. His header landed at the feat of Daley Blind, who was standing all alone at the penalty spot, where he was able to easily finish to the right side.
Holland’s third goal came a minute into stoppage time, with an overlapping run down the right side by Daryl Janmaat, who sent the ball into the area for Georginio Wijnaldum to sweep into the goal.
Unlike Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to Germany, the Brazilians did not completely melt down, and indeed created some chances, but could not find the ability to finish before conceding the stoppage-time backbreaker.
Most of those chances were created by Oscar, who was Brazil’s best player. In the sixth minute, he made a run down the left side and sent a beautiful cross into the area, but neither Ramires nor Jo were able to get a final touch on it.
In the 21st minute, Oscar threaded a shot through a pair of Dutch defenders, but it was an easy save for goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, and in the 33rd minute, after Julio Cesar made a save on a shot by Van Persie to start a quick break, Oscar wound up with a free kick from the right corner of the penalty area, but his curling ball was cleared out for a corner.
Oscar sent a ball through the area in the 38th minute, but again, the finishing touch was not there, with Paulino and David Luiz poaching off the far post but unable to direct the ball into the net.
Julio Cesar made his best save of the match in the 41st minute, diving to stop a van Persie shot from outside the area.
Ramirez came closest to pulling one back for Brazil in the 60th minute, sending his shot just wide left.