Netherlands blank Brazil 3-0 in FIFA World Cup play-off
Brasilia: Brazil lost its face, its pride one more time in the space of four days after the Netherlands embarrassed the hosts 3-0 in the third-place play-off match of the World Cup, as boos and jeers from the fans dressed in canary yellow reverberated across the Estadio Nacional here.
Coming off the devastating 7-1 hammering to Germany in the semifinals, the humiliation for the hosts was complete on the eve of the grand finale.
Captain Robin van Persie (3rd minute), Daley Blind (17th) and Georginio Wijnaldum (90+1) found the target for the Netherlands, the result only adding to the already gloomy mood of thousands of home fans as they left the stadium deeply dejected.
Van Persie started the scoring for the Netherlands after he converted from the spot barely few minutes into the game.
Arjen Robben was the one credited with getting the Netherlands the penalty after he was pulled by host skipper Thiago Silva, who returned after missing the German massacre due to double bookings.
The Manchester United player calmly slotted in the ball, high above Julio Cesar`s dive. This was van Persie`s fourth goal in six appearances in the ongoing tournament.
There was though a hint of doubt over if Robben was dragged inside the box.
Lack of discretion on part of stopper David Luiz, who is headed for Paris Saint-Germain FC on a world record 50 million pound, led to the second goal.
In what turned out to be a horrible piece of defending, Luiz`s feeble header from a cross landed on the path of Daley Blind, who promptly volleyed it in to make the scoreline 2-0 for the Oranje, in the process scoring his maiden international goal.
Wijnaldum added to the home team`s woes when he successfully launched his right-footer into the net in the added time.
Oscar looked to be the most impressive Brazilian player on the field and embarked on a mazy run before launching into a shot from the edge of the box, but Jasper Cillessen was equal to the task at the post.
For the record, Brazil have conceded 14 goals in the tournament, the most by the five-time winners in a single World Cup finals.
In between, on the 16th minute, Brazilians Jo and Ramires were inches away from converting a cross from the left, but the ball bounced clear and away to safety.
Brazil did enjoy greater ball possession in the first half and created enough goal scoring chances, but their shots on the target were week.
Before the second half started, Fernandinho was brought in place of Luis Gustavo while Ramires made way for Hulk, but nothing could bring Brazil the elusive goal.
In the 50th minute, Brazil survived another Holland attempt from the set-piece.
Just before that though, there was a great run from Ramires. The Chelsea player broke through the Holland defence but his final touch outside the box was blocked by a defender for a corner.
In the 59th minute, Ramires twisted and turned to fire in a shot, only to see his attempt miss the target by about a foot.
Brazil showed urgency towrads the end but lacked badly when it came to finishing.
Earlier, right back Maxwell and striker Jo were among the players who started for Brazil.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari made four other changes from the team that started the devastating 7-1 loss to Germany in semifinals. Silva was back in the lineup as expected, but the coach also included three new mid-fielders - Willian, Ramires and Paulinho.
Leaving the team were Marcelo, Dante, Fernandinho, Hulk, Bernard and Fred.
Wesley Sneidjer was a last-minute withdrawal from the Netherlands team after he injured himself while warming up for the game.
Sneidjer`s place in the team was taken by Jonathan de Guzman. The other change made by coach Louis van Gaal in the Oranje starting line-up was Jordy Classie in place of Nigel de Jong in midfield.