The Netherlands have dashed Brazil's hopes of redeeming themselves at the end of their home campaign at the 2014 FIFA World Cup by dealing the host nation a 3-0 loss at their play-off for third place.
Brazil 0-3 Netherlands
(Van Persie 3' PEN, Bind 17', Wijnaldum 90'+1)
Date: July 12, 2014
Venue: Estadio Nacional, Brasilia
Man of the Match: Arjen Robben
The Dutch World Cup Story
The Dutch may be pleased to have won the bronze medal match but they would feel an empty victory after having lost out on a chance to fight for the title and take it one step further than their 2010 runner-up finish against Spain.
The Netherlands started their campaign with a strong 5-1 victory in a revenge bout that was a replay of the 2010 final and this time around, it was the Orange team that came out victorious humiliating the defending champions in their opening match.
The next matches were not won as convincingly with a match against underdogs Australia that could have gone either way. The final group match against Chile is the last convincing win they would have before reaching the semi-finals.
They robbed Mexico of a win after trailing for most of the match and equalising late. The winning goal came after a penalty that still has tongues wagging about Arjen Robben's alleged acting skills.
The next match against Costa Rica was won through penalties with the introduction of goal keeper Tim Krul who was brought in as a secret weapon for the penalty shoot- out. No such luck was met against Argentina where they had no substitutions left after extra time and Jasper Cillessen allowed 4 Argentine goals relegating the Dutch down to a third place clash against the hosts.
Brazil's nightmare ending
The host team opened the tournament with high hopes of ending the curse that has plagued the nation since the loss to Uruguay at the Maracana from way back in the 1950 World Cup Final.
Everything started well with a 3-1 win over Croatia despite criticism arising from the officiating of the match and the opening goal coming from an own goal by Brazil's defender Marcelo. They had the victory in the end and were off to a good start.
The second match didn't go so well for the hosts as they could only manage a draw against Mexico. Nevertheless, a 4-1 win over Cameroon ended the hosts' group stage on a high note.
The next round saw Brazil struggle against Chile in the first knockout round and the match had to be decided on penalties which Brazil won 3-2. The quarterfinal match against Colombia was where all the trouble started for Brazil when they played rough all throughout the match pushing the rules to the limit. In the end, they came out with a victory but also with dire consequences to deal with as they were left with a suspended captain and a badly injured star striker. Thiago Sila and Neymar were set to miss the semi-final against Germany.
Everyone knew that the match against Germany would be tough especially with the missing players but nobody expected the dismantling that Brazil experienced in the hands of the Germans. The score was 5-0 all in the opening 30 minutes and Brazilian fans were wailing in the stands while their players stumbled around dumbfounded on the pitch.
The final score was 7-1. The Brazilians have undergone a whipping from the Germans. Instead of Rio, they have been relegated to Brasilia to face the Netherlands
Search for redemption
Both of the teams in the bronze medal match have reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, a mighty feat. Losing in the semi-finals however has left both teams heartbroken and now they need to gather their strength and fight for redemption to end the tournament on a high note at least.
While on paper with higher ball possession and more attempts at goal, Brazil seems to have dominated, the Dutch have a higher statistic where it mattered. Three balls found the net and in the end Brazil have found themselves not only with the Maracanazo looming over their heads but now also a humiliating exit to their campaign and the possibility of seeing their biggest rivals Argentina take the Cup from right under their noses at their iconic stadium.