World Cup: Netherlands vs. Brazil (Matchday Commentary)

World Cup: Netherlands vs. Brazil (Matchday Commentary)

World Cup 2010

World Cup: Netherlands vs. Brazil (Matchday Commentary)

By

Brazil Netherlands

After a two-day break, World Cup action returns Friday with the first of four quarterfinals, as Brazil is set to take on the Netherlands in Port Elizabeth (ESPN/ESPN3.com, 10:00 a.m.).

A spirited Dutch attack will look to break down the dominant Brazilian defense that has only conceded two goals in four games during this tournament. The Oranje's big names — Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben have to be at their best if the European nation hopes to secure a spot in the semifinal.

Brazil has yet to get the best out of playmaker Kaka, relying more on its defensive prowess and ability to hit the opposition on the counter. Luis Fabiano leads the attacking line, and is a candidate for the Golden Boot at this summer's tournament.

I'll be providing live commentary throughout the match. As usual, feel free to leave all thoughts, comments and analysis after the jump. Enjoy the action.

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FINAL – Kaka never settled in to the game either, and his exit is a disappointment. Can the Netherlands keep it going? That's all from me. Be sure to stay tuned to SBI for this afternoon's match, as well as all your World Cup coverage.

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FINAL – For all the discipline Brazil was supposed to have, Felipe Melo lost his cool, stomping Arjen Robben, who had gotten under the skin of Brazil's defense with his pace and diving.

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FINAL – That's it! Brazil is out, Netherlands on to the semifinals. What a shocking turnaround from the Dutch. Everything started out so poorly. Brazil are in shock.

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93rd minute – Nothing coming from Brazil. Kaka with a poor pass, and they are trying balls forward.

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92nd minute – Van Bommel escapes another yellow card. Everyone forward for Brazil, just a minute to go.

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90th minute – Into added time: three minutes for Brazil to save their tournament.

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89th minute – Alves straight into the wall, and a follow up cross can't be corralled by Robinho.

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88th minute – Brazil with a chance here. Van Bommel takes out Lucio late, perhaps the last chance here for an equalizer.

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87th minute – Tense moments here. Brazil lacking a menacing touch, letting Dirk Kuyt in before Juan saves with a last-ditch tackle.

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85th minute – Five minutes to go. Holland have conceded late goals before — see Slovakia — but have the man advantage this time around.

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84th minute – Almost for Sneijder! Van Persie holds it up well for Sneijder to run on, but a weak effort saved by Julio Cesar.

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81st minute – Nervy moments on a Brazil corner. Stekelenburg whiffs at a low cross, and it's headed off the line. Would have been a tap in if there was anyone in a blue jersey lurking.

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80th minute – Robin Van Persie with another awful free kick, sends it miles over.

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79th minute – Netherlands look to break, but they get too narrow. Brazil must throw players forward, so this should be a tense final 10 minutes.

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77th minute – Luis Fabiano comes off for Nilmar. Forward for forward not the most logical choice, you'd think.

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76th minute – Ooijer gets a yello for time wasting. Ten men Brazil now really up against it.

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75th minute – Robben drawing fouls ago. The Bayern Munich winger has succeeded in getting under the skin of Brazil. He's been dramatic, theatrical but it's worked.

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73rd minute – RED CARD! For a stomp on Robben. That's a horrible play, and a good call. Brazil are coming to pieces.

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72nd minute – Nervy moments now for Brazil. Holland needs to keep possession, hold the ball, look to seal it with a third goal.

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70th minute – Twenty minutes for the Dutch to hold. Defend closely from a Brazilian set piece, trying to break after clearing.

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68th minute – GOAL NETHERLANDS! Sneijder with a goal off a corner, great flick on from Dirk Kuyt, and Sneijder finishes. Excellent play on the set piece. Netherlands 2, Brazil 1.

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66th minute – Kaka shoots wide, given way too much time at the top of the 18. No bend, and no danger for Stekelenburg.

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65th minute – De Jong goes in the book, will miss next match. Interesting to see if he's left on for the rest of the game.

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63rd minute – Game is opening up here. A bouncing ball almost falls for Van Persie in the box, but again his shot is weak.

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62nd minute – Dunga sends on Gilberto Melo for Michel Bastos, who is on a card and struggling to deal with Robben.

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60th minute – Sloppy play on both ends. Pressure of the match has to be creeping in to the minds of players, who are looking tense.

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59th minute – Brazil a bit flustered at the moment, and the Dutch are looking the better side.

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55th minute – That goal has galvanized the Dutch, who were looking flat. Attacking with my energy and intent now. Robin Van Persie is down on the pitch.

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53rd minute – GOAL NETHERLANDS! From nowhere, a cross from Wesley Sneijder eludes Julio Cesar. Not sure what happened there, but it's 1-1. Looks like it took a touch off Felipe Melo, as Cesar whiffed on the punch.

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50th minute – The Dutch do a good job of creating space with Van Persie and Robben dancing through a sea of blue shirts, but Sneijder tamely hits a shot out for a goal kick.

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47th minute – Van der Wiel gets a yellow for a dive. That means he misses out next match, which currently, Netherlands won't be playing.

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45th minute – Back underway at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Brazil kickoff.

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HALFTIME – Bert van Marwijk has his work cut out for him. 45 minutes for the Netherlands to answer back and knock out the five-time champions.

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HALFTIME – Game is playing out in Brazil's favor. Dutch can't cope with Brazil's defense pressure, and Robinho's early goal allowing them to sit deep and be aware of the Dutch counter. Robben has seen the ball a bit, but five or six blue jerseys swarm him as soon as he get's the ball.

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HALFTIME – Maicon bombing forward and hits a shot into side netting in what will be the last movement of the first half. Brazil 1, Netherlands 0.

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45th minute – Nervy moment as Julio Cesar fumbles a cross after hitting his own teammate. No orange jersey in sight.

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43rd minute – Maicon earns a free kick after a foul from Van Persie.

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41st minute – Under five to go, Brazil holding on to its 1-0 lead. Defensively, Brazil is doing a great job of limiting space and keeping the pressure on the Dutch when they're in possession.

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39th minute – Players flying all over the field, Maicon sending Kuyt flying to ground. Dunga not happy with it.

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37th minute – Michel Bastos gets a yellow card for his challenges on Robben. Bastos hasn't been careful enough, though to his credit Robben has made the most of the contact.

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35th minute – 10 minutes go to in the first half. Can the Dutch find a goal?

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33rd minute – The difference between physical prowess is rather pronounced. Dutch players having a hard time getting the ball back and losing physical challenges.

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30th minute – SAVE Stekelenburg! Kaka finds space at the top of the box, curls in a nice shot that the Dutch 'keeper does well to save.

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29th minute – Fabiano gets his head on the free kick but it's from a good bit out and goes well high.

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27th minute – Kaka draws a free kick after going down from a challenge by Ooijer. Dani Alves to take.

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25th minute – Dani Alves dances around Dirk Kuyt and cross for Juan, who shows a defender's touch on the finish.

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24th minute – Robben's theatrics have taken front and center already. Netherlands dominating the ball, but failing to really trouble Brazil, who can afford to sit back and look for their chances.

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22nd minute – No space for Robben on a rare Dutch possession in the Brazilian box.

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20th minute – Van Persie is easily dispossessed as the Dutch try to look for an opening. Brazil confident and strong as usual.

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17th minute – Van Persie blazes well high. That will suit Brazil.

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16th minute – Robben's taken a couple of early hits in this one, drawing a dangerous free kick this time.

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15th minute – A lot has been made of the lack of unity of the Dutch team. Can they pull together here?

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13th minute – This could unravel quickly for the Dutch if they aren't careful. Brazil are menacing with the lead.

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12th minute – The last minute switch, thanks to injury proves costly. Ooijer at fault on that, he failed to track Robinho's run.

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11th minute – That should open things. How will the Netherlands respond?

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10th minute – GOAL BRAZIL! Brazil with the breakthrough as a ball through the middle splits the defense, and Robinho finishes. Awful, awful defending from the Dutch.

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9th minute – Early warning for the Dutch, as Brazil countered with menace, even though the goal didn't count.

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8th minute – Brazil put the ball in the net, but it's called back for offside on Dani Alves. Call looked good.

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5th minute – Brazil look content to soak up the Dutch pressure, all oranje in the first five minutes, though no chances on Julio Cesar's goal.

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4th minute – Hard tackles on both sides early on, and a lot of rolling around and grimacing on the field. Referee might have his hands full in this one.

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3rd minute – Not too much in the early goings. Possession staying mostly in the midfield, as early tempers flare up.

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1st minute – Game on! Netherlands kickoff.

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PRE-GAME – Robin Van Persie needs to show up today. He's had a decent tournament, but a big match from him would surely be huge for the Dutch, who absolutely need to score first.

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PRE-GAME – Matchup to watch: Arjen Robben vs. Michel Bastos. Unlike Slovakia, the Brazilian left back should know to show Robben to the right.

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PRE-GAME – Anthems are being played. A few minutes until the first quarterfinal begins.

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PRE-GAME – Players are out on the pitch. Share your predictions below.

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PRE-GAME – Blow for the Dutch: Andre Ooijer is forced into the lineup for Joris Mathijsen in central defense.

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PRE-GAME A whole host of players would miss the semifinal if they were to get a yellow card today: Netherlands has Nigel de Jong, Robin van Persie, Gregory van der Wiel, Dirk Kuyt, Rafael van der Vaart, Gio van Bronckhorst, Arjen Robben and Maarten Stekelenburg. Brazil would lose Kaka, Luis Fabiano, Juan and Felipe Melo.

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PRE-GAME – Only one change between the two sides from their last matches in the Round of 16 — Felipe Melo comes in for Ramires, who sits out with a yellow card suspension.

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PRE-GAME – Here are the lineups:

NETHERLANDS

—————-Van Persie——————

—Kuyt———Sneijder——-Robben—

——–De Jong——Van Bommel——–

Van Bronkhurst–Ooijer–Heitinga–Van der Wiel

————Stekelenberg—————–

BRAZIL

———-Fabiano——Robinho—–

——————Kaka——————-

—Gilberto Silva——–Dani Alves—

————-Felipe Melo—————

Bastos—-Lucio—-Juan—-Maicon

————–Julio Cesar—————–

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