Brazil 0 – 3 Netherlands
A poor contest, far different to the last four editions. This time around neither side really looked that interested. The Brazilians are the footballing equivalent of a person who just wants to pull the blanket over their head and pretend the last week never happened, while the Dutch are still dreaming of that final berth, snatched away from them in the cruellest manner.
The Dutch had the game won in twenty minutes. The gaps in the Brazilian defence, largely facilitated in their openess by an appalling David Luiz, were a gift. Robben made the most of some slight contact to win a penalty, easily converted by Van Persie. Then Luiz’ awful clearing header fell easily to Blind for the second.
The game immediately petered out. A few half chances were created here and there. Brazil were given the opportunity to control the possession of the ball, but seemed tired, jaded and totally unmotivated. The Dutch looked a little bit better on the counter, but they too seemed unwilling to really go all out. Wijnaldum’s closing goal came from a neat bit of play, and made the scoreline a fairer reflection of the games progress.
More games like this, and the Third/Fourth Place Play Off will soon be a thing of the past, which would be a shame. Both teams leave the World Cup with a bit of a whimper, the hosts more so. And roll on Sunday night.