By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Seleção (Brazil national team) finished fourth in the FIFA World Cup after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at the hands of Holland at the Estádio Mané Garrincha yesterday evening. The result means the Brazil end the tournament on a low after conceding ten goals in their final two games, disappointing fans around the globe hopeful of seeing them go all the way.
It has been a devastating few days for the hosts and their supporters after the high expectations good results in earlier friendlies had brought. For coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, this could have been his final game in charge, with rumors in the Brazilian press suggesting former Corinthians boss Tite could be next in line for the national post.
Scolari has come in for heavy criticism for his team and tactical selections, especially against European heavyweights and now World Cup finalists Germany. Yesterday his side made another nightmare start.
Referee Djamel Haimoudi awarded the Dutch a penalty after only two minutes when Thiago Silva tugged down Arjen Robben. Slow-motion replays showed that the foul actually occurred outside the penalty area and the Brazilian players were furious, surrounding Haimoudi to plead their case.
Nevertheless Robin van Persie stepped up and smashed the ball beyond Júlio César into the top right-hand corner of the net. And it got worse for the beleaguered hosts. Holland were 2-0 up after only seventeen minutes when a poor David Luiz clearance fell straight to Danny Blind. The full-back, completely unmarked, had time to control the ball and place a shot beyond the reach of the backtracking defense.
Brazil tried to respond, primarily through Oscar, but at the half-time whistle there had been no reply. As the players left the field a deafening chorus of boos could be heard from the terraces. Scolari brought on Fernandinho for Luiz Gustavo for the second half but the change made little difference.
Oscar thought he had won a penalty for Brazil but instead was booked for diving as their night went from bad to worse. Brazil’s inferiority was confounded soon afterwards when Janmaat’s cross foud Wijaldum to turn home for the third.
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