Brazil puts up another stinker

Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar rolls on the pitch after conceding a goal to the Netherlands during...

Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar rolls on the pitch after conceding a goal to the Netherlands during their World Cup third-place game in Brasilia, July 12, 2014. (RUBEN SPRICH/Reuters)

Morris Dalla Costa, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:47 PM ET

OK, whoever you are, please bring back the real Brazilian national soccer team.

After another embarrassing performance Saturday it wouldn’t be surprising to see the following headline in O Globo, the biggest newspaper in Brazil.

“Aliens kidnap Brazilian soccer players and replace them with shoemakers.”

Brazil, or the shoemakers, flamed out of the World Cup by dropping the third-place game 3-0 to the Netherlands.

It was a tad better than the 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals, but that’s death by firing squad or hanging. You’re dead either way.

Saturday’s loss was the second time in Brazil’s history it lost 3-0 in a World Cup game, its second-worst result.

The team, known for crisp passing, running off the ball, pinpoint accuracy and ability to score, was shockingly deficient in every category.

As the game progressed, fans were in the throes of head shaking, giving the team the thumbs down and whistling.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari tried to coach during the game but inevitably would turn away shaking his head. He rubbed his head and face so many times during the game there was a real threat he would rub away his features.

Yet he claimed his team didn’t play badly.

“I don't see how you can criticize the Brazilian team. They ran after the result,” he said. “They tried to play the game and I don't think it was a bad match by losing 0-3.

“This team didn't play well in the semifinal and played reasonably well today. We had a reaction and went after it. They leave with my trust, my happiness. If we continue the work, the path is open for a team that will be much better in 2018.”

After the gutting at the hands of Germany, the last thing Brazil needed was a bad start.

But three minutes into the game Robin van Persie converted a penalty kick. Brazil then went down 2-0 in the 16th minute when Daley Blind scored.

The Dutch capped off another thumping when Georginio Wijnaldum scored in added time.

The Dutch were quite clear after losing their semifinal to Argentina they had no desire to play a third-place game. To their credit, they came out and played as if they wanted to win it.

Brazil may have wanted to win it, too, but didn’t play at a level that would allow them to.

“This generation does not have to be scarred,” Scolari said. “We were in the top four teams in the world. What we must do is to continue working as it has been working.

“I'm feeling sad. Any leader, any person if they don't convey optimism to their group, there's nothing they can do. We have to push the team forward.”

The Brazilians had trouble putting together a string of passes. The accuracy in their long passing was non-existent with the ball often flying yards away from the target. Skill has always been the strength of Brazilian soccer but there was a void there that was obvious to all.

With the awful result against Germany and the continuing anger about the money spent on a tournament that now might be won by arch-rival Argentina, Brazil really needed a good performance to ease its way out of the tournament.

Instead there is another stinker to remember.

The air was sucked out of the stadium three minutes in when Netherlands winger Arjen Robben went for one of his patented runs and patented flops. He was clear of Brazil’s Thiago Silva at the top of the penalty area when Silva used bad judgment in putting a hand on Robben’s shoulder.

Robben went down like he’d been pole-axed by a Viking broadsword. Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi didn’t hesitate in awarding a penalty kick and giving Silva a yellow card. On top of that, it appeared the penalty might have actually occurred outside of the box.

Van Persie converted the penalty and it was 1-0 Netherlands.

Things only got worse when at the 16-minute mark a cross by the Netherlands was headed back toward the field of play by David Luiz. It landed right on the feet of Netherlands midfielder Blind and from some 15 yards dead centre in front of the goal he beat Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar to the top of the net.

No doubt there were many in the stadium thinking ‘here we go again’ in Portuguese.

The rest of the game turned gave way to discussion on how shabby Brazil looked, a discussion that no doubt will go on in Brazil long after the other 31 teams in the tournament have gone home.


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