Third-place preview: Brazil V Netherlands
After Brazil’s utter humiliation against Germany, anything less than a win in the third-place match against an indifferent Netherlands team would deepen the gloom hanging over the World Cup hosts.
Brazil’s astounding 7-1 semi-final thrashing by rampant Germany ended their dream of winning a sixth World Cup, and a first on home soil, and plunged the nation into despair.
|Brazil and the Netherlands have played four times at the World Cup, including the quarter-final in 2010 when the Dutch came from behind to win 2-1.|
Although third spot would be scant consolation for many, the match at the national stadium is one Brazil, and under-fire coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, must take very seriously.
By contrast, Scolari’s Dutch counterpart Louis van Gaal, whose side exceeded many people’s expectations by reaching the last four, has said the third-place game is pointless and that too will ramp up the pressure on the hosts.
Van Gaal also came in for criticism after his side, who began the tournament by thrashing holders Spain 5-1, failed to score in either their quarter-final against Costa Rica or in their semi against Argentina.
They beat the Costa Ricans on penalties but lost their shootout to Argentina when goalkeeper Sergio Romero stopped two Dutch spot-kicks.
The Netherlands have never won soccer’s global showpiece despite reaching the final three times. They lost in 1974 and 1978 to West Germany and Argentina respectively and were beaten 1-0 by Spain in South Africa four years ago.
Venue: Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasília
Date: Saturday July 12
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