And It Only Gets Worse

Brazil Falls to Netherlands; A Nation Reels

The Netherlands handed Brazil its second straight devastating loss, topping the World Cup’s host country to capture third place in the tournament.

The Netherlands’ Robin van Persie and Daley Blind scored in the early minutes, demoralizing a heavily partisan Brazilian crowd at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.  Georginio Wijnaldum added an insurance 3rd goal in injury time.

The 3-0 loss added to the agonizing frustration for Brazil, which had been seeking a record sixth World Cup championship.

The Brazilians suffered a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals that marked their worst-ever margin of defeat and the first time in 80 years that they allowed seven goals in one game.  They also finished the World Cup with back-to-back home losses for the first time since 1940.

When the final whistle sounded Saturday, the Brazilian team was loudly booed by the nearly 70,000 fans in attendance.

A “Terrible” Feeling

“It’s a terrible feeling, I don’t know what to say,” said  midfielder Oscar, whose team allowed 14 goals, the most-ever for a host team.  “After a huge loss to Germany, today we tried our best from the beginning to win third place but it wasn’t our day.  We have to see what went wrong so we can improve for the future.”

In contrast, the Dutch finished a World Cup unbeaten in regular play for the first time, losing to Argentina in a penalty shootout in the semifinals following a scoreless draw.  After they finished second at the World Cup four years ago, third place is their best showing since losses in the finals in 1974 and 1978.

On Saturday, they started fast at the same time that Brazil looked confused.

Van Persie scored in the third minute on a penalty kick, hooking the ball into the upper corner of the net past diving goalie Julio Cesar.  It appeared that Brazil’s Thiago Silva had yanked van Persie down outside the box, but the referee awarded a penalty kick.

In the 17th minute, Brazilian defender David Luiz mistakenly headed the ball to Blind, who punched it through uncontested for a 2-0 lead.  Luiz was trying to clear a cross in front of the goal.

Brazil played catch up from there, trying a series of free kicks that failed.

The Dutch were proud of their performance despite falling short of their first World Cup championship.

“It was a great end,” forward Arjen Robben said.  “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.  That’s why third place is so deserved.  I’m so proud of this team.  Compliments to them.”

For the second straight game, the Brazilians played without star striker Neymar, who fractured a vertebra in the quarterfinals and was lost for the tournament.  Silva, Brazil’s captain, was back after serving a one-game suspension for earning his second yellow card.

The Dutch played without one of their top scoring threats, midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who was injured in the pre-match warm-up.

“The most beautiful was our resilience,” Wijnaldum said.  “We were knocked out, but we came back and finished third.  We wanted to close it out well.”

Germany, Argentina to Meet for Title

On Sunday, perennial  powers Germany and Argentina clash in the championship game at iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Argentina, which is led by mega-superstar Lionel Messi and stingy goalie Sergio Romero, will face a German squad with an array of offensive weapons such as Thomas Mueller and Miroslav Klose, the all-time scoring leader in World Cup history with 16 goals.  Germany is the highest-scoring team in the tournament with 17.

Argentina and Germany have met twice before in the World Cup championship game.  Argentina won in 1986, and the Germans won in 1990.  Argentina is seeking its third title, and Germany its fourth.

No European team has ever won a World Cup championship in the seven times the tournament has been played in the Americas.  A South American team has prevailed each time.

Netherlands (3-0) Brazil

The Match Neither Team Wanted (UPDATE: Brazil’s Embarrassment Continues)


Brazil loses.
Netherlands loses.

UPDATE: Things went from bad to worse for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup. After getting blown out by Germany 7-1 in the semifinals, Brazil would face a similarly lopsided score (although not as severe), failing to score a goal and falling to the Netherlands 3-0 in the third place match. Brazil finishes the World Cup in fourth place, and with a country’s hopes and expectations unfulfilled.

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Simply put, this third place match between Brazil and the Netherlands (4 PM ET/8 PM UTC) is one neither team wanted to be in. Brazil had their eyes on winning the Cup in their home country, but after a shocking 7-1 blowout against Germany, they find themselves in the runner-up match. Netherlands was hoping to build on their trip to the final in 2010 and win the first Cup in their country’s history, but they too fell short.

But nonetheless, both teams find themselves out of contention, and in Brasilia on Saturday for this match. Third place pales in comparison to a championship for Brazil, but expect them to play hard to avoid another embarrassment. For Netherlands, a win on their opponent’s home turf would be a small victory in and of itself, and some consolation for their semifinal loss.

For play-by-play, minute-by-minute coverage of every ball touch, throw-in, direct kick, indirect kick, yellow card, red card, corner kick, goal kick and every other possible football feat in every World Cup match, tap into VOA’s multilingual, multinational analysis.

Click here to follow the action live, or follow along on Facebook, or on Twitter with #WorldCupVOA.

And for even more exclusive VOA coverage with a special focus on Africa’s national teams, check out VOA’s Francophone blog.

German Precision

How to Beat Brazil in 7 Goals

Animated GIF showing how Germany scored 7 goals against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup match.

Here’s how Germany scored
seven goals against Brazil.

10′ – Goal scored by Müller

Brazil 0 - 1 Germany

22′ – Goal scored by Klose

Brazil 0 - 2 Germany

23′ – Goal scored by Kroos

Brazil 0 - 3 Germany

25′ – Goal scored by Kroos

Brazil 0 - 4 Germany

28′ – Goal scored by Khedira

Brazil 0 - 5 Germany

68′ – Goal scored by Schürrle

Brazil 0 - 6 Germany

78′ – Goal scored by Schürrle

Brazil 0 - 7 Germany

Click here to see the match statistics and see a play-by-play recap of the Brazil vs. Germany match.