• Brazil 0-3 Netherlands, World Cup third-place play-off

Netherlands ensure miserable end for hosts

ESPN staff
July 12, 2014
Robin van Persie finds the top corner from the penalty spot to give the Netherlands the lead © Getty Images

Netherlands claimed their first third-placed finish at a World Cup as Brazil were brushed aside thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Having been crushed 7-1 by Germany in their semi-final, the hosts were aiming to bounce back and restore some pride, while Louis van Gaal's side were looking to respond after an agonising penalty shootout defeat to Argentina in the last four.

Brazilian hopes soon evaporated, however, as Netherlands took the lead within three minutes in Brasilia.

Arjen Robben goes down under the challenge of Thiago Silva © Getty Images

Thiago Silva was extremely fortunate not to become the first player ever to be sent off twice in the same World Cup as he hauled down Arjen Robben in the penalty area.

Despite clearly being the last man, Silva - who saw red in the quarter-final victory over Colombia - escaped with only a caution, though Van Persie showed no mercy when coolly despatching the resulting penalty high into the roof of Julio Cesar's net.

Another lapse in defensive concentration cost Brazil soon after; this time it was Silva's central defensive partner David Luiz at fault, as a poor header gifted Netherlands a second goal.

Defensive midfielder Blind was the unlikely recipient, beautifully controlling the ball 10 yards out and rifling a right-footed shot home.

Brazil rallied after the interval and could count themselves unlucky not to win a penalty when Blind appeared to trip Oscar, who was instead adjudged to have dived by referee Djamel Haimoudi.

But the hosts' misery was then compounded as Daryl Janmaat crossed for Wijnaldum to steer home a third for the Netherlands in stoppage-time, with Van Gaal even finding time to bring on goalkeeper Michel Vorm at the death to ensure every player in the Dutch squad made an appearance at this World Cup.

Wijnaldum's strike ensured that Brazil became only the third team - alongside Saudi Arabia and North Korea - to concede 12 or more goals at a World Cup in its current format.

Brazil had finished in third place in the 1938 and 1978 tournaments but there was to be no repeat as Netherlands left South America with a bronze medal as consolation for their campaign.

Daley Blind doubled the lead with a sublime touch and finish after David Luiz's poor clearance © Getty Images
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