World Cup 2014

Brazil ends World Cup in free fall as Netherlands rolls in third place game



Brazil’s spectacular fall continued into the World Cup’s third-place game on Saturday in their capital city of Brasília.

After having its title hopes dashed in a shellacking by Germany on Tuesday, Brazil conceded twice early and couldn’t play its way back in, as the host nation fell, 3-0, to the Netherlands.

Arjen Robben drew a penalty in the box on Thiago Silva under two minutes in, and Robin Van Persie converted the ensuing PK to send the Dutch in front for good in the third minute.

Van Persie didn’t give goalkeeper Júlio César a chance, taking his long run-up and smashing a high shot inside the right post to ensure a Bronze Medal for the Netherlands.

Daley Blind made it a two-goal advantage off a poor headed clearance by David Luiz in the 16th minute. Blind settled with his left foot, then cracked a righty shot past the oncoming César.

Georginio Wijnaldum then completed the scoring in the first minute of second half stoppage time, sending his first touch inside the right post on a right side center pass from Daryl Janmaat.

Robben played a role in creating all three goals, despite finishing without an assist.

He sprung Jonathan de Guzmán down the right sideline on Blind’s goal. De Guzmán caught up with the ball just in time to cross it in to the far post where Luiz headed it back out in front.

Robben similarly advanced the ball to Janmaat to allow the assist on Wijnaldum’s tally.

Brazil had a great opportunity in the 38th minute when Oscar drew and then took a free kick from a dangerous are on the right side.

Oscar served the ball in across the face of goal, but a glancing header at the near post by Luiz Gustavo couldn’t do the trick.

David Luiz and Paulinho were both free at the far post, but neither could get on the other end of the ball.

The early penalty included a pair of judgement calls by Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi, whose name may sound familiar from his calling of the USA-Belgium Round of 16 match.

Silva’s takedown of Robben happened at the very edge of the 18-yard box, and Haimoudi chose to rule the foul inside.

The FIFA guidelines for this type of situation specify that, “If a defender starts holding an attacker outside the penalty area but continues holding inside the penalty area, the referee shall award a penalty kick.”

Haimoudi also decided to issue Silva just a yellow card instead of a straight red, despite Robben having only César to beat.

Silva has struggled with bookings this World Cup. The Paris Saint-Germain captain memorably had to miss the Brazilians’ semifinal debacle versus Germany due to yellow card accumulation.

Brazil may have been a bit unfortunate in the 68th minute when Oscar was awarded the first yellow card of the World Cup for diving after he went down inside the box on a challenge by Blind.

Blind reached his left leg across the Oscar, who went stiff-legged at the point of contact.

The play also resulted in an injury to Blind, who was stretchered off to end his breakout performance at this World Cup.

Swansea City goalie Michel Vorm replaced Jasper Cillessen during second half stoppage time, as departing Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal capped his career as national team coach by inserting the final player on the 23-man roster that had yet to play in the World Cup.

This marks the first time the Dutch have ever won the third-place game. The Netherlands, which has never won a World Cup, has finished in second place three times and fourth place once.

  • Landy Cakes

    Every team except Germany sucked. This could have been our year America!!!!!


    • futbolisimo

      +1, whadda nightmare. It seems in the final analysis he was way too young to be saddled with so much responsibility. Fundamental errors, one after the other. Was his own worst enemy, letting his emotions get the better of him.


    • AlexH

      Everybody was saying that David Luis’s sucktitude was due to him missing Thiago……it turns out he just sucks……and Tiago isn’t much better!

      Maybe PSG ought to pick up Omar and Matt as backups, because they may need them and they cant’ have that much money to splash around and Americans can be bought cheap.


  • BamaMan

    If we could have been on Brazil’s side of the bracket instead of Germany, there was real opportunity. If we had beaten Portugal, we’d have really gone for it against Germany and might could have eked out the draw. Germany’s path – (1) Algeria, (2) France (tough to be sure); (3) Brazil. Not impossible when one looks at it from a distance now. The France game would have been the rubicon as they were a better team than Belgium. However, I think that the hype of a quarterfinal game against a European power would have been huge and might have given us a lift.


    • Fast Eddie

      I think you are right. Not beating Portugal was the key. It was due to the fault of Klinsmann, if he would have played Julian Green the U.S. would have beaten Portugal.


    • Dirk McQuigley

      The major stumbling block is that, in 2014, Algeria was a much more dangerous team than when Landy Cakes put in a EA garbage rebound goal in injury time. Neuer came off his line to make about three or four goal saving clearances on breakaways. Algeria really frustrated Germany and just seemed to wilt in the extra time. They would have been formidable and there is no guarantee we would have advanced. In order to be a top 8 team, we need better wingers than Zusi and Bedoya. Maybe they are adequate sub material, but on a consistent basis, neither was able to deliver quality crosses. But, but, but Zusi had two assists. Yes, on a corner, and a busted play with a deflection that left him unmarked with time and space. From the wings, in the run of play, Zusi sucked.


      • Dennis

        Since soccer is a team sport, a lot of success a team has (or fails to have) is a result of teammates consistently taking up positions that offer their teammates support, options to attack, or defensive cover. Germany (and the Netherlands, even Argentina) have shown just how valuable that is (and Spain used to until they got a bit too old and slow to compete athletically). The US had 2, perhaps 3 players who were consistently in good spots for their teammates, that number must grow.

        Of course, you are right it is necessary to have the skill and quickness to turn that teamwork into something productive and the US was found wanting in that category as well.

        Still, the US did hold Germany to one goal and if Wondo had converted that last minute shot against Belgium the US would have advanced so there is reason for hope.

        The old baseball refrain comes to mind, “Just wait until next year”.


  • Adam M.

    Scolari should have recognized a long time ago that Brazil would struggle in his system without an effective central striker. There was no hold up play and no attack from from the middle in the final third. The fullbacks made the situation worse by bombing forward with no one to connect with, and then David Luiz made it fatal by bombing forward himself, leaving most of the field exposed to a counter that simply bypassed the slow central mids. Basically, anytime they went forward is appeared as if they were down a man, and too many times when the ball changed hands it appeared as if they were two or sometimes three men down on defense. Their positioning was so bad on defense that Germany and Holland played around them like cones. In fairness, Neymar was the one who had the keys to the offense and could have created space necessary for a poacher to threaten. His loss was devastating, but at the same time Scolari failed to notice the problem while Neymar was being hacked and then he failed to react when he was injured. It was a complete lack of discipline from the manger down.


    • reignman

      Its crazy that they are so reliant on Neymar, they have some other extremely talented creative players (oscar, bernard, hernanes for example). I don’t know how they became so reliant upon just one person, that really helps to benefit the team in the long run. It’s also been quite a while since Brazil had a truly top class #9, will be interesting to see when they get another.


    • WeAreGoingToBrazil

      I feel like with how Luiz, Alves and Marcello like to get forward so much that Brazil would be a perfect candidate to play with a back line like Mexico’s. Dante and Silva could be strict center backs while David Luiz is able to be a more free-floating stopper, ala Rafa Marquez. Then Alves and Marcello could be wing-backs and it wouldn’t hurt quite as much when they were caught up the field.

      Something like this:



      • WeAreGoingToBrazil

        Edit: That’s supposed to be a back 5, just with Alves and Marcello and wing-backs and Luiz as a free-floating stopper who may at times drop behind the center backs. Just no better way to write it as a lineup


      • RB

        So you’re going to stick with David Luiz and Dante and jettison Thiago Silva?

        There sure are some unusual ideas that come out here!


  • froboy

    Ref was terrible in this game. PK call was horrible, clearly outside the box, several other big mistakes including a no call on a David Luiz should’ve been PK. Brazil still deserved to lose, but I wish Geiger had the chance to ref this game.


    • kar

      So true — don’t remember any questionable calls from USA Belgium, but this was truly an awful performance.


    • Dirk McQuigley

      Brazil was never in the game, rarely threatened, and looked passive. They were a beaten team from the opening whistle. Would you of rather had Silva red-carded in the 2nd minute? It could have gone much worse had he done that which was the correct call. The Brazilians never really pressed the ball and let the Dutch keep possession too easily. They just let the Dutch attack right up the middle of the defense way too often. It easily could have been 5 or 6 nil but the Dutch were tired after chasing Mexico and playing 2 straight 120 min. games.


  • Joe Dirt

    Everyone seems to forget that David Luiz doesn’t actually play centerback for Chelsea instead he plays the deep lying defensive midfielder role just in front of the backline. With that said here would have been my formation and starting 11 for Brazil at the beginning of the cup:





    And after Neymar injury and Silva suspension





    That said who am I to question Felipao, but I don’t think Fred or Jo should have been on this squad. Fred at least had a good Confed Cup but Jo please not even close to being Selecao material.


    • Diego's Maradoughnuts

      You’re probably being polite. Jo is the sort of player who seems destined for a disappointing 3 month cameo with the Vancouver Whitecaps in which he scores one goal off his kneecap and eventually leaves by “mutual consent”


    • WeAreGoingToBrazil

      I’ve never watched Luiz play for Chelsea, but from just this World Cup I was saying that he would be better served as a deep lying midfielder or a stopper. Brazil didn’t ever really seem to have a defensive minded midfielder on the field. With how Marcello, Alves and Luiz play Brazil would have been perfectly suited to play the 5 man back-line that Mexico and the Netherlands played. Totally agree with your first lineup.

      As for Jo and Fred, it’s shocking to me that Brazil doesn’t have a single decent striker. I hadn’t really seen either of them prior to the WC, but Jo seemed a lot more useful to me than Fred. I heard a stat that Neuer covered more ground than Fred in the Brazil-Germany game. Not sure if it’s true, but I would believe it.


  • jimmysoccerstar

    I think after the huge margin defeat in semifinals by Germany, their confidence level was very low against Netherlands in the game for 3rd place. They were looking very tired and played like losers throughout the match.



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