Embarrassment continues for Brazil with a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands

Brazil's Fernandinho, Oscar, Maxwell and David Luiz (l. to r.) react after the Netherlands scores a third goal.DOMINIC EBENBICHLER/REUTERS Brazil’s Fernandinho, Oscar, Maxwell and David Luiz (l. to r.) react after the Netherlands scores a third goal.

Searching for a measure of redemption on Saturday, Brazil’s ragged soccer team instead found only more reason to go hide somewhere until 2018. The 3-0 defeat to Holland in the third-place match was yet another historic setback for the home side, which hadn’t dropped two straight World Cup games in 40 years and was defeated in these two latest matches by a combined 10-1 score.

It required just two minutes for the Netherlands to remind everyone in Brasilia why the home side’s back line can’t match up against top European attackers. Arjen Robben chased down a through pass, broke alone toward goal and was pulled down by the shoulder, from behind, by Thiago Silva.

While the foul took place just outside the box, Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi appeared to come to his own personal compromise. He awarded the penalty, which was converted in the third minute by Robin van Persie, but showed Silva only a yellow card, instead of the deserved red.

It would be hard to say whether this trade off did any good or harm to Brazil, which was heading down the drain in any case. The Netherlands scored again in the 17th minute when Brazil defender David Luiz headed a ball away from the goal directly to wide-open Daley Blind, who took his time and then finished from 12 yards out. Holland appeared to be marginally offside on the buildup to that second goal, but again it hardly seemed to matter.

The Dutch scored a final goal, salt in the wound, in the 91st minute on a pretty passing play from Robben to Daryl Janmaat to Georginio Wijnaldum, whose shot inside the right post beat a late-reacting Julio Cesar.

Brazil, demoralized and disorganized, was utterly harmless throughout this game. Even when Brazil’s attackers created space for themselves, their finishes were off-target, awful. In the 60th minute, for example, Ramires somehow sliced his shot far wide left after finding a clear path between himself and goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from the top of the box.

Nothing went right for Brazil, including the whistles. In the 68th minute, Oscar was shown a yellow card by Haimoudi for diving – the first card in the entire tournament for that alleged offense – when he legitimately appeared to be tripped by Blind in the box.

While all this futility was going on, the injured Neymar sat on Brazil’s bench and shouted encouragement to players who lacked his scoring knack.

Holland’s victory meant the team has finished among the top three for two straight World Cups. The Netherlands is universally recognized as the best side never to have won the championship, with three second-place finishes, a third and a fourth.

So ended Brazil’s $11 billion adventure, on the sourest of terms, with Brazilians jeering Brazilians while fuming at Luiz Felipe Scolari, at FIFA and at their nation’s president, Dilma Rousseff. There is still a final to be played on Sunday in Rio, where hopefully Germany and Argentina will put on a more uplifting, artful show. But it is a done deal, a fiasco, as far as the Brazilian football fans are concerned.

What Next?

Recent Articles

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.