BRASILIA – Third place play-off: Brazil 0, Holland 3
—- Not even a glimpse of redemption for Brazil was possible as the World Cup hosts were beaten decisively by Holland in the ‘little final’ of the 2014 tournament.
Brazil had promised to strive to rescue some shreds of pride but once again, as against Germany in the semi-finals, they let themselves down with disastrous defending in the opening phase of play.
They did concede five more goals in the first halfhour this time but two in the opening 17 minutes still ensured their slide to a World Cup record of 14 goals conceded which they did not want. This was the first time Brazil had lost two successive games since 1940.
Dutch captain Robin Van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum in the last minute struck the goals which earned Holland a medals presentation while the Brazilians were already back in the dressing room, despatched by a chorus of boos and jeers.
After only 87 seconds Van Persie played Arjen Robben through the Brazil defence and captain Thiago Silva pulled the winger back by his shirt.
The foul started two metres outside the box but Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi pointed to the spot though Brazil had a let-off in that he showed Silva only a yellow rather than a red card. Van Persie shot home the penalty.
Luiz at fault
Holland doubled their lead thanks to yet more poor defending by Luiz. He headed a Jonathan de Guzman cross out into the penalty box and Brazil’s slow-thinking defence allowed Blind to take two steadying touches before firing past keeper Julio Cesar for his first international goal.
Brazil improved slightly after the break, thanks mainly to the efforts of Oscar, who was booked for diving when he should have been awarded a penalty after a challenge by Blind.
Ron Vlaar also handled a Maicon cross in the penalty box just after the hour but Haimoudi waved away appeals for a penalty.
Van Gaal then thought his team should have had a penalty when Robben went down in the box under pressure from Fernandinho, but nothing was given.
The boos started five minutes from time as Brazil could not get the ball off the Dutch and when Wijnaldum turned home Darryl Janmaat’s cross in injury time the jeers become louder.
Holland thus ended a World Cup finals campaign unbeaten for the first time.