Netherlands blanks Brazil, bags World Cup third place

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Brasilia, Brazil (4E Sports) – Netherlands handed Brazil another World Cup humiliation as it bagged third place via a 3-0 triumph over the hosts Saturday in Brasilia.

Goals from Robin van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum were enough to lift Oranje to victory and give coach Louis van Gaal a fitting send-off before he takes on the reins of Manchester United.

The Dutch came extremely close to returning to the World Cup final but lost on penalty kicks to Argentina following a 0-0 match through 120 minutes.

However, it was a fruitful campaign for Netherlands as it was not expected to progress beyond a group featuring Spain and Chile.

Brazil entered Saturday’s game hoping to restore some pride following a 7-1 semi-final drubbing against Germany.

However, they suffered an early setback as van Persie and Blind scored in the first half. The Dutch compounded Brazil’s woes as Georginio Wijnaldum scored in stoppage time.

Not even the presence of injured talisman Neymar on the bench could rally the Brazilians, who were the favorites in the tournament until that devastating loss to Germany.

Van Persie put the Netherlands ahead from the penalty spot inside three minutes with his fourth goal of the World Cup.

The striker was instrumental in the move that brought the spot-kick as his clever pass to Arjen Robben forced Thiago Silva to pull him back.

Silva, who returned from a one-game suspension, was fortunate to only be shown a yellow card, although Brazil felt aggrieved given the initial contact appeared to be outside of the box.

Undeterred by the subsequent protests, Van Persie dispatched a perfect penalty in the top corner for a 1-0 lead.

Blind gave Netherlands a 2-0 lead after he recovered David Luiz’s clearance and found the back of the net.

Brazil tried to put one on the board before halftime but Paulinho and Luiz failed to find their target.

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