Brazil Ends World Cup in Worst Way After Embarrassing Match for Third Place

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 12 2014 8:36 PM

Brazil Ends World Cup in Worst Way After Embarrassing Match for Third Place

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Brazil fans on Copacabana Beach react after the Netherlands scored to take a 3-0 lead

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Well, that did not go well for Brazil. The third-place match in the World Cup is legendary for being the one no one wants to play. The Dutch said it loud and clear after they lost to Argentina on Wednesday. “I thought this 10 years ago and I have said it many times,” said Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal. “You don’t play for third place. It isn’t important.” For Brazil though, it was different. Saturday’s game was the chance to partially redeem itself after the historic 7-1 loss against Germany. On the contrary, the game seemed to demonstrate the horrible loss in the semi-final was not a fluke. The Netherlands easily won 3-0, marking the first time Brazil endured “back-to-back losses on home soil since 1940,” details Fox Sports.

How easy was the win for the Dutch? In the final minutes of the game, Van Gaal decided to put in second substitute goalkeeper Michel Vorn*, making the Netherlands the first team to ever use all 23 players in a World Cup. “If Tuesday's semi-final defeat against Germany represented the brutal death of Brazil's World Cup dream, this was the burial,” writes the Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson.

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Brazilian players did not hold back tears

Photo by VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images

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The World Cup that began with such promise for Brazil ended “with a cacophony of boos,” as Reuters puts it. The returning captain, Thiago Silva, who was supposed to bring stability to Brazil after being forced to sit out the Germany match, ended up being responsible for the first Dutch goal that came only two minutes into the game after causing a penalty. He “was lucky only to receive a yellow card for the foul,” notes the New York Times. Things just went downhill from there. “Brazil, demoralized and disorganized, was utterly harmless throughout this game,” notes the New York Daily News. “Even when Brazil’s attackers created space for themselves, their finishes were off-target, awful.”

All that was left to do in the end was apologize.

"I don't think we deserved for it to end like this," Silva said, according to Reuters. "We need to apologize to the fans, they booed us at the end, which is normal, they have feelings too. It's very tough."

*Correction, July 13: This piece originally misspelled Michel Vorm's name as Michel Vorn.  

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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