Netherlands defeated Brazil in the third place play-off in the World Cup as Louis van Gaal signs off on a wonderful note.
A third place finish in this World Cup is an amazing achievement for a Netherlands side that weren’t expected to reach this stage at the start of the tournament. But some wonderful team performance and tactical knowledge of Louis van Gaal has resulted in a fairly successful campaign.
On the other hand things went from bad to worse for Brazil who were expected to restore some pride in this encounter after the humiliating defeat against Germany in the semi-final. Instead the host nation ended the tournament conceding 10 goals in their last two matches and this has put the future of Luiz Felipe Scolari under serious doubts.
The match started on a bright note for Holland as they were awarded a penalty in the second minute of the game. Thiago Silva brought down Arjen Robben in the box and Robin van Persie stepped up to score past Julio Cesar.
Daley Blind doubled Netherlands’ lead in the 16th minute of the match and the goal arrived from another defensive mistake. David Luiz failed to clear the ball properly and the ball fell kindly for Blind at the center of the penalty box. He had all the time in the world to bring it down and strike it into the back of the net.
Brazil failed to score past the organized Dutch defence and in the end Georginio Wijnaldum added a third in the 90th minute of the game. It was another wonderful move down the right as Daryl Janmaat and Arjen Robben combined to unlock the Brazilian defence. Janmaat’s cut back from the flank was turned in by Wijnaldum.
Arjen Robben, who produced some wonderful performances throughout the tournament, was satisfied with how it ended after missing out on the final.
“It was a great end – you can get rid of a bit of the shock of not going to the final, but not completely. The disappointment stays, we’ve been so close. We deserved more.
“I’m finished, I’ve given everything. We’ve come so close.
“That’s why the third place is so deserved. I’m so proud of this team, compliments to them.” – Robben said after the match.