Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
How Brazil unraveled
by Ridge Mahoney, July 2nd, 2010 2:38PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  brazil, netherlands, world cup


[NETHERLANDS-BRAZIL] The Netherlands reached the semifinals of the World Cup for the fourth time when it rallied from one goal down at the half for a 2-1 win over Brazil, which collapsed in the last half hour.

What we liked ...

-- Keyed by a superb save from keeper Martin Stekelenburg, the Dutch didn’t unravel and concede what could have been a decisive second goal. Stekelenburg flew to his left and nicked away a curling shot from Kaka in the 31st minute after Robinho had battled through a pair of challenges to create the opportunity. In first-half stoppage time, Stekelenburg also dove to deflect a hard shot from right back Maicon, who had powered up the flank to test the keeper.

-- Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben weren’t at their best, so Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt simply kept driving at the Brazil midfield and back line in search of miscues. The tough, assured play of Brazilian center backs Juan and Lucio blunted numerous thrusts, but once Felipe Melo and Julio Cesar collided going for a Sneijder free kick and the ball glanced off the defenders head into the net for an own goal, the Dutch took over.

-- Another set play provided the winning Dutch goal, with Kuyt flicking Robben’s inswinging corner kick at the near post for Sneijder to head in from close range. Kuyt beat Luis Fabiano to the ball and nobody could react in time to stop Sneijder from heading past Julio Cesar, his club teammate at Inter Milan.

-- Pressed into emergency service when starter Doris Mathijsen came up hobbling during the pre-match warmup, defender Andre Ooijer shook off the shock of watching Robinho skate through the middle to score in the 10th minute. He and central partner John Heitinga solidified their play after a rocky first half and shut off Brazil’s frantic attacks in the final minutes.

-- By knocking off the five-time champion, the Dutch increased the possibility of a team that has never won the World Cup reaching this year’s final. That hasn’t happened since France reached the final, and won, as host in 1998.

What we didn’t like ..

-- After taking a 1-0 lead on Robinho’s superb finish of a piercing through ball from Felipe Melo, Brazil fluffed some excellent opportunities set up by Dani Alves. Juan fired over the bar from close range after a partially cleared corner kick that Alves served back into the box, and Luis Fabiano peeled away from his marker to head a free kick well over the bar. Early in the second half, Juan missed the target again on yet another corner, and five minutes later the Dutch equalized.

-- Robben wasn’t the only player flopping and diving, but his anguished grimace on a near-miss tackle by defender Miguel Bastos was a clear attempt to have the Brazilian, already cautioned, sent off. The purported foul did result in the free kick that Sneijder whipped into goalmouth and glanced off Felipe Melo’s head into the net.

-- Once it fell behind, Brazil’s composure fizzled as the revived Dutch surged forward. Still, Kaka hit a first-time shot off a bouncing ball wide from a good spot, and Dani Alves shot well wide from distance. But Brazil’s panicky defending gave away free kicks and corner kicks and after Sneijder scored for a 2-1 Dutch lead, Melo charged into Robben after losing the ball and drew a straight red card.

-- Instead of marshaling its skill and experience, an absolute necessity while down to 10 men, Brazil resorted to pugnacious behavior much like that exhibited during the tournament by head coach Dunga. The confident Dutch fended off a long run by Lucio that reached the attacking zone, and a Dani Alves free kick hit the wall.



0 comments
  1. Edward Vaughn
    commented on: July 2, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.
    Good riddance!! They, like all other big name teams---Yankees, Lakers, Man Utd., etc---need to be out in the first round so that "real" folks can compete. And especially this year when Brazil wasn't even enjoyable to watch, just a bunch of egotistical thugs, divers and cry babies.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Special Edition
What They're Saying    
"I'd like to think that we're closing the gap and hopefully one day we can do ...
Heroes of Genoa: USA downs Italy!     
[ITALY-USA] The USA celebrated its biggest win of the Jurgen Klinsmann era when it prevailed 1-0 ...
Morgan leads USA past Danes    
[ALGARVE CUP] Alex Morgan continued her hot streak, scoring in each half to lead the USA ...
MLS preseason this week ...    
[SCOREBOARD] Eleven MLS teams will be in action Wednesday in the four tournaments being played across ...
Qatar, Oman in, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain out    
[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING] Mohammed Kasola's goal in the 83rd minute gave Qatar a 2-2 tie ...
Reggae Boyz sweep three games in week    
[WORLD CUP 2014 COUNTDOWN] Jamaica, which will face the USA in the semifinal round of World ...
Reyna and Meola head Class of 2012    
[HALL OF FAME] Claudio Reyna and Tony Meola, eligible on the Player ballot for the first ...
Italy-USA Minute by Minute    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY] A well-constructed goal by Clint Dempsey -- his 25th for the USA -- in ...
Ferdinand and Lampard not in Pearce's squad    
[ENGLAND] Interim coach Stuart Pearce's first squad includes newcomers Fraizer Campbell and Tom Cleverley, but veterans ...
Klinsmann sets roster for Italy clash    
[USA MEN] Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in a 21-man roster with 17 foreign-based and four ...
>> Special Edition Archives