Brazil were unlucky to concede a penalty and not to be awarded a few of their own throughout the match to determine who receives the bronze medals and wooden spoons. The yawning gaps in midfield from the semi-final match against Germany remained visible. From the onset, Thiago Silva and David Luiz played too far apart, a situation worsened by Luiz Gustavo who played further ahead of the pair, including the opposing lethal pair of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie.
This was tactical suicide as the two Dutch strikers had plenty of time and space to receive the ball and ride their bikes. On each of those occasions, they had the opportunity to create dangerous one versus one situations as well as two versus one against each central defender. The recovering runs from the midfielders came too late and were ineffective given the pace of Robben. Thiago lost the ball and his man passed the ball to the speeding Bayern Munich striker, and had to make a run to cover himself up as his partner tried to run back and cover him up, fouling the bald flying Robben just outside the penalty box. The referee pointed at the whitewash.
RVP stepped up and blasted the penalty kick past Julio Cesar for one of the earliest goals of the tournament. The central midfield position continued to be exposed and loaded the back two heavily. Brazil failed to take up defensive positions quickly enough as they tried a little too hard to be on the score sheet. Luiz played a little ahead of the natural defensive position while Oscar came to the central midfield position to pick up the balls and sprint forward. Maicon found spaces on his flank, but his position always provided a pathway for attacks and counter attacks.
Robben played Deguzeman on the right to cross the ball into the prime target area. David Luiz headed to the penalty spot for Blind to control and hit the roof of the inside netting. The hosts began to throw caution to the wind, with Oscar, Willian and Ramirez looking to right the result. Their urgency became an Archilles’ heel as they committed numerous unforced errors in their rushed attacks.
AR and RVP played a little wide of each other, staying between the central defenders and the touch-line. This resulted in Luiz and Silva being drawn uncomfortably wide. Gustavo should have played in between the two strikers at minimum. Ideally, he needed to stay between his defenders to shorten the recovery distance to either defender. Upon receiving the balls wide on the centre line, there was no stopping for the Dutch, as they sprinted centrally and support came from their wings. Their midfield took off faster and were ever quick off the blocks. There was never much attacking options for the South Americans as soon as they won the ball under these circumstances.
As much as the South Americans fought a better fight in the second half, they failed to penetrate a resolute Holland defence. The downfall of the Brazilian attack was going through the solid middle. When the wing play was involved, the attacks threatened the Europeans but the crosses became horrible. In most cases, cutback options saw the ball over the second post or too close at the near post, usually intercepted or played out for a corner-kick. Under all circumstances, each Dutch attack looked like it would produce a goal.
It was concluded at the right flank at the dearth when Robben checked over his shoulder and picked up a run from deep to tuck a timed third man run. The cross was met by Wilnadum to side foot a first time shot. In the last two goals, the crossers of the ball were not pressurised and the charging towards the scorers came at a snail’s pace, giving too much space and time to calmly finish. Cesar needed to firmly push the last attempt strongly past the post.
Brazil concluded a miserable 2014 Fifa World Cup with their tails between their legs. An embarrassing 3-0 defeat looked better than the 7-1 drubbing, but that would never appease the fanatic crowd that booed their villains with no end. For the record World Cup champions, it proved how much they regressed over the years since their last victory in 2006. There would be little doubt that the honourable thing to do for the technical team would be throwing in the towel.
Holland scored their own record equalling 15 goals in their conquest for third place, and all members of their squad at least tasted some action.