Brazil suffered further World Cup humiliation as Louis van Gaal signed off as Netherlands head coach with a 3-0 victory in Brasilia, Goal.com reports.
The tournament hosts entered Saturday's game hoping to restore some pride following a 7-1 semi-final drubbing against Germany, yet were undermined as first-half goals from Robin van Persie and Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum's stoppage-time effort ensured Van Gaal's men took the dubious honour of finishing third.
Not even the presence of talisman Neymar on the bench, albeit not among the substitutes due to the broken vertebra suffered in the quarter-final against Colombia, could rally Brazil.
By contrast, Netherlands were excellent as they sent Van Gaal off to his new role as Manchester United manager on a high.
While the semi-final shoot-out loss to Argentina will sting, the new Old Trafford supremo will surely look back fondly on a campaign that was not expected to progress beyond a group featuring Spain and Chile.
However, there are few positives for Brazil - whose defeat further consigned their efforts to a dark chamber in their nation's rich footballing history and leaves coach Luiz Felipe Scolari facing an anxious wait over his future.
Such a result seemed farfetched when Wesley Sneijder picked up a hamstring injury in the warm-up, Jonathan de Guzman deputising.
Yet there were no such issues when the game began, Van Persie putting 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, his clever ball freeing Arjen Robben, who was pulled back by Thiago Silva.
Back in the side following suspension, the skipper 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 despatched a perfect penalty in the top corner that may have left many fans wondering what might have been had he still been on the pitch versus Argentina.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for Brazil as David Luiz's dreadful headed clearance from De Guzman's cross gifted Blind the simplest of finishes after 16 minutes.
The hosts did at least threaten an equaliser, Paulinho and Luiz somehow failing to get on the end of Oscar's wicked delivery across the six-yard box.
To their credit, Brazil continued to battle after the interval with Ramires hitting narrowly wide after getting the better of Ron Vlaar.
Brazil's hopes of getting back into the game were undermined by further poor refereeing, too, as Oscar was booked for diving in the area having been brought down by Blind.
That the left-back was subsequently carried off on a stretch due to the contact only added to the farce.
Even if the penalty had been given, a Brazil comeback seemed unlikely, with a campaign that initially carried such hope ending with a whimper when Wijnaldum powered home Daryl Janmaat's cross in the 91st minute.
*** *** ***
COMMENTARY: FULL TIME
Brazil 0-3 Netherlands: Goals from Van Persie, Blind and Wijnaldum ensure the Dutch finish their World Cup campaign unbeaten, a feat no other Oranje side has achieved, and in third position. The hosts, though, are jeered at the final whistle after another disappointing defeat.
90' + 6' There is the final whistle! Netherlands take third place, while the hosts finish in fourth!
90' + 5' Maicon tries his luck from distance but he slices a shot up into the stands. That will surely be the last act of the game.
90' + 3' Substitution: Jasper Cillessen OUT, Michel Vorm IN
90' + 3' Van Gaal decides to use his final substitute by introducing Michel Vorm for Cillessen. The Dutch coach has now used his entire 23-man squad through his side's campaign!
90' + 1'Goal Georginio Wijnaldum
GOOOOOOAAAAL!! NETHERLANDS GET A THIRD! Robben sends the overlapping Janmaat down to the byline and the wingback cuts the ball back into the middle. He picks out the unmarked Wijnaldum who sends a first-time finish past Julio Cesar, who gets a touch to the shot but cannot keep it out.
90' Substitution: Jordy Clasie OUT, Joël Veltman IN
90' There will be five minutes of time added on!
88' Hulk and Vlaar have a coming together on the far side, with the Brazilian catching the centre-back as he attempted to clear the ball to safety. Moments later Clasie drops to ground and may need to be replaced.
88' Hulk and Vlaar have a coming together on the far side, with the Brazilian catching the centre-back as he attempted to clear the ball to safety. Moments later Clasie drops to ground and may need to be replaced.
87' Robben whips in the corner and Kuyt manages to get up and head the ball before Julio Cesar can get his fists to it. It is a good leap from the Dutchman but his header sails over the top of the goal.
86' Netherlands break with Robben making a bursting run into the box to give Janmaat an option from the right. Maicon manages to get their first and the ball goes out for a corner.
85' The Selecao win a free kick wide on the right and Hulk is given the responsibility of sending it into the area. He fails to pick out a yellow shirt, though, as Wijnaldum is the man to get his head to it and clear the threat.
84' There are just over five minutes remaining for Brazil to find a goal here. Cillessen has only had a couple of saves to make despite the Selecao enjoying an abundancy of possession in the second half. Netherlands have clearly felt the job is done and have everyone bar Robben and Van Persie behind the ball most of the time.
82' Robben is picked out in the box and controls the ball on his chest. Fernandinho puts him under pressure and the Bayern man goes to ground, claiming for a penalty. The referee disagrees, though, and allows play to continue.
81' Willian makes a great run across the face of the defence and receives a pass from Oscar. He is tracked by Clasie, though, and the Dutchman forces him out to the byline on the near side. He still manages to get his cross in, but he hangs it up in the air and Cillessen is able to come off his line and claim it unchallenged.
79' Oscar takes a short corner to Willian and darts back into an onside position to receive the ball back from his team-mate. He then attempts to bend it to the back post, but sends it high and wide and is clearly disappointed by the delivery.
77' STAT: There have been 169 goals scored at this World Cup which is just two fewer than the highest tally of 171 from the 1998 finals.
75' HULK! The Zenit man pulls the trigger just inside the box with his powerful left boot, but he is unable to direct it at the target as it sails high and wide. One fan in the stands is happy with it, though, as he got to touch the ball and kick it back into play!
73' Substitution: Ramires OUT, Hulk IN
72' Although Brazil have controlled possession in this half, Oranje have rarely looked worried. They attempt to break through Robben and he almost pounces on a loose ball in the box but Wijnaldum clearly doesn't hear his call and a mix-up ensues which allows the Selecao to recover.
71' Indeed, Kuyt moves over to the left and Scolari readies Hulk on the touchline. How will the veteran Dutchman deal with him?
70' Substitution: Daley Blind OUT, Daryl Janmaat IN
70' In the wake of the collision with Oscar, Blind is stretchered off the pitch and that looks it will be the end of his tournament. Janmaat comes on in his place, with Kuyt likely moving to left wing-back.
68' Yellow Card: Oscar
68' Penalty to Brazil? No, Oscar is booked for diving! The Chelsea man goes to ground inside the box and there was definitely contact with Blind, but the referee deems he was trying to cheat and so puts his name in the book.
67' David Luiz takes another opportunity to carry the ball up from the back, and again he tries to search out a team-mate with a long, diagonal pass. Once more it is overhit, only being received by groans in the stands. Felipao looks dispondent on the bench.
65' Oscar initiates some crisp interplay in the left-hand channel and bursts into the area upon receiving the ball back. However, Vlaar steps across and puts in a strong challenge to repel the threat.
63' Brazil continue to control possession and they are seeming to grow in confidence now. Maicon goes on another marauding run, this time through the middle, and wins a free kick as Blind fouls him. David Luiz takes it but he is unable to replicate his effort against Colombia as his strike flies straight into Cillessen's arms.
62' STAT: The last World Cup match that Netherlands lost despite scoring two goals was against Brazil when they met in the quarter-final of World Cup 1994.
60' JUST WIDE! Brazil finally manage to work an opening through the middle with Ramires receiving the ball 20 yards from goal and shimmying away from Vlaar. He makes enough space to have a go at goal but he drags his effort wide of the far post.
58' Hernanes first contribution is an exceptionally late challenge on Robben which seems him take out the Bayern man and practically do the splits as he fails to keep his footing when sliding in!
57' Substitution: Paulinho OUT, Hernanes IN
57' That is the end of Paulinho's evening as the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is replaced by Hernanes.
56' Oscar does well to get away from his marker in midfield and send the ball out to Maicon on the right. The defender then picks out Jo in the box but his first touch sends him away from goal and close to the byline. He attempts to spin around and get a cross in but he cannot find a route through the Dutch defence.
54' Yellow Card Fernandinho
54' Fernandinho goes into the book for wiping out Van Persie on the far side as, once more, Oranje looked to break on their opponents. Scolari now appears to be readying Hernanes on the touchline as he is clearly seeking some more ingenuity in midfield.
52' Brazil are enjoying more of the possession in this half, but still they seem incapable of creating anything coherent in the final third. Netherlands are operating on the break and with the pace of Robben they look a real threat when they do so.
50' Robben takes the free kick quickly, playing a give-and-go with Blind and bursting past Maicon. Upon entering the area he releases a shot on goal which loops into the air and towards the far post via a deflection. De Guzman attempts to add the finishing touch with his head but he cannot generate enough power to steer the attempt back on target.
49' Brazil win a corner which is taken short and eventually worked to Willian inside the box. He attempts to drill a low ball into the middle but it is cleared away by the Dutch defence. Robben breaks down the other end and draws a fould from Ramires inside the Brazil half.
48' Yet another long ball from the back by Brazil as David Luiz completely bypasses the midfield in search of Oscar up top. The pass is too powerful, though, and runs out of play for a goal kick.
46' Substitution: Luiz Gustavo OUT, Fernandinho IN
46' We are back underway in Brasilia!
With a two-goal deficit, Brazil are on the verge of losing two consecutive fixtures on home soil for the first time since 1940! They really need to step it up at the break.
Brazil 0-2 Netherlands: Thiago Silva's return to the Selecao defence failed to provide solidity as within three minutes of kick off he gave away a penalty which Van Persie dispatched. Blind then added a second in the 16th minute to heap further woes upon Felipao's side. Oscar has provided plenty of enthusiasm and drive in midfield, but not enough clear-cut chances have been created.
45' + 2'There is the half-time whistle and it is greeted with further whistles from the stands!
45' + 1' We are into the first of an additional two minutes.
45' The free kick is finally taken, and it's an anti-climax as Oscar is unable to beat the wall. The loose ball then falls to Maxwell but the left-back sends a rasping volley over the top of Cillessen's goal.
44' Hernanes steps up his warm up on the sidelines as Ramires walks off to receive some treatment. Will the Inter man enter the fray shortly?
43' Ramires picks up the ball in midfield and drives at the Dutch defence. He takes a heavy touch and Vlaar, thinking he can get there first, swings to hoof the danger away. However, Ramires manages to nick it away beforehand and thus his shins take the impact. He seems in some pain, but he has won his side a free kick in a very promising area.
41' VAN PERSIE! Brazil give the ball away inside their own half twice in quick succession and after the second time possession is moved out to Van Persie on the left. Thiago Silva backs off so the striker takes the chance to get away an early shot from the bouncing ball, and his effort skids into the arms of Julio Cesar.
40' There is a short break in play as Robben goes down to receive some treatment. It offers the players a chance to take on some fluids while the coaches bark instructions at them in front of the dugouts. Play quickly resumes, though.
38' HOW HAS IT STAYED OUT?! Oscar wins a free kick on the left and takes it himself. Luiz Gustavo flicks it on at the near post but neither Paulinho or David Luiz are able to reach it as it bounces across the face of goal only a few yards from the net.
36' Yellow Card: Jonathan De Guzmán
36' De Guzman is shown a yellow card for a trip from behind on Oscar as the Chelsea man raced through the heart of the midfield. He took one for the team, there.
35' Maicon, Oscar and Jo attempt to build something on the right wing, but rather than put a cross into the box the latter attempts to bend a shot into the far corner. It is an exceptionally ambitious effort from Jo, and although Cillessen was scrambling he fails to hit the target.
34' Oscar bends it in with his right foot but Martins Indi nods it behind for a corner. David Luiz went to ground under some rough treatment from Vlaar during the set play, but the referee clearly saw nothing untoward.
33' Maicon wins a free kick for Brazil just outside the box on the near side after he is caught by Wijnaldum. It is right on the corner of the area, so can Brazil use this to get a goal back?
32' Robben is set away down the right and he does a good job of keeping the ball in play under pressure from Luiz Gustavo. The assistant referee deems it too much pressure and signals for a free kick, but Oranje fail to make anything of it.
31' Thiago Silva brings the ball out from the back and ventures into the Dutch half unchallenged. He spots Jo spinning his marker and looking to run in behind so he sends a long pass in his direction. Kuyt reads it, though, and manages to nod it back into the arms of Cillessen.
29' Oscar flights the resultant free kick into the area from just outside it on the near side, but there is no solid connection from a Brazilian shirt at the back post.
28' Oscar, who has been the real driving force for Brazil so far, surges past Martins Indi before dropping to ground. The Dutch defender suggests there was no contact, and the replays show that the Chelsea man simply clipped his own heels!
27' Oranje now seem happy to let Brazil spend a bit more time on the ball, as they sit increasingly deep inside their own half. It will invite pressure, but clearly they feel confident of coping with it.
25' There can be no doubting Kuyt's workrate at wing-back, but his deliveries regularly fail to prove as effective. He sends a completely aimless cross well high of the goal and out for a goal kick, despite Van Persie's presence in the middle.
23' Maicon has been keen to push on down the right in the early stages and now he picks up the ball and ventures inside. He releases an effort from outside the area but Vlaar puts his body on the line and blocks the attempt.
22' STAT: Cillessen has only conceded nine goals in his 14 caps for Netherlands and has kept a total of eight clean sheets in the process.
21' GOOD SAVE! Now Cillessen is called upon, and it comes after Oscar takes matters into his own hands! The midfielder went on a mazy run from the right before pulling the trigger with a low effort from 20 yards, but Cillessen got down and held it at the first attempt.
20' We are 20 minutes into the game and Cillessen is yet to be forced into a meaningful save by the Selecao. Things just aren't clicking for them in the final third, but they have looked dangerous when trying to exploit the space in behind the wing-backs.
18' This really isn't what Felipao would have wanted from his team with speculation over his future rife. They look for an instant reply but make a shambles of an attack down the right, with both Maicon and Jo fumbling over the ball before the latter kicks it out for a goal kick.
16' Goal Daley Blind
GOOOOOOOOAAAL!! ORANJE TAKE A 2-0 LEAD! Robben releases De Guzman down the left, and the midfielder does well to clip in a cross from the byline. David Luiz can only clear it as far as Blind, who stands unmarked on the penalty spot and fires into the roof of the net after taking one touch to control it!
15' David Luiz pings a brilliant diagonal ball up from the back, finding Oscar in behind Kuyt on the left wing. However, the Chelsea man inadvertently controls with his arm as he looks to bring it under and the referee spots it. Free kick to Netherlands.
14' There are whistles from the crowd as Netherlands look to break after Vlaar heads a cross away from danger, but decide to slow the play down once entering the Brazil half. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of intensity coming from the Oranje ranks, and once they lose possession a huge roar goes up as David Luiz looks to surge into the opposition half.
12' A feature of this Dutch side is that the back three will often step out from defence and shadow a player to force them back away from their goal. Martins Indi just closed Ramires relentlessly and won the ball for his side on the half-way line. He then continued his run into the box but Kuyt was unable to pick out Robben on the left with his pass.
10' The Selecao win a free kick on the left and it is taken quickly by Oscar to set Maxwell away towards the byeline. The left-back swings a great delivery into the box but Martins Indi does just enough to stop Jo from getting his head to it, and the ball goes out on the far side untouched.
9' Yellow Card Arjen Robben
9' Robben is the next player into the book as he cynically brings down Paulinho after being dispossessed by the midfielder. It is perhaps unsurprising, given these two sides have conceded the most fouls in this World Cup!
7' Robben drops deep to pick up the ball and run at the opposition. He cuts inside of Luiz Gustavo expertly and attempts to find De Guzman with an ambitious pass towards the top of the box. He gets a bit too much behind it, though, and Brazil are able to clear away the danger.
6' Brazil win the ball in midfield and break down the left flank. Willian whips a fantastic cross into the centre of the box, which Ramires busts a gut to try and get on the end of. He lunges forward, stretching a leg to connect with it but is unable to reach it under pressure from Blind.
5' Looking at the replays Thiago Silva certainly should have been shown a red card there as he was the last man. Perhaps the referee doesn't want to cause any upsets for the hosts! The contact took place right on the edge of the box, with some of the Brazilian team suggesting it should only have been a free kick.
3' Penalty Goal: Robin van Persie
GOOOOOOOAAL!! There is silence in the stadium as Van Persie dispatches the penalty, putting it out of Julio Cesar's reach and up into the top corner!
2' Yellow Card Thiago Silva
2' PENALTY TO NETHERLANDS! Robin van Persie holds off Thiago Silva, brings the ball down and slips a pass to Robben as he races outside him. The Bayern Munich man cuts in front of the Brazilian centre-back and is tugged to ground. The referee points to the spot and puts Silva in the book.
1' We are underway in Brasilia! Brazil are in their traditional yellow shirts and Netherlands are wearing their alternate dark blue jerseys.
*** *** ***
Despite fracturing his vertebra in the quarter-final in Colombia, Neymar is in his kit and sitting on the bench this afternoon. As he emerges from the tunnel he receives a very warm welcome from the adoring crowd.
News is filtering through that Wesley Sneijder has been injured during the warm up, so Jonathan de Guzman will start in his place. It's a blow to Netherlands, with reports suggesting that he has pulled his hamstring.
Some people write this game off as a non-event, but both these teams still have a form of motivation to perform tonight. Plus, the last nine World Cup third-place play-off matches have all seen at least three goals scored. If that record continues we should be in for an entertaining night!
This is the 12th meeting of these two nations and both have earned three victories with the remaining five fixtures ending as draws, including the most recent 0-0 in a 2011 friendly. Their previous World Cup encounter, however, saw the Dutch emerge as 2-1 winners in the quarter-finals of the 2010 competition.
Following that humiliating defeat to Germany, Brazil have now conceded the most of goals of any side in the current World Cup with 11 goals being put past them. The last time they conceded so many was in 1938, but never have they allowed more into their net. All the more reason for the Selecao to turn their form around and put in a strong display this evening. The public won't accept anything less.
Tonight will bring the Selecao's fourth appearance in the third-place play-off, but their first since 1978. Brazil have won two and lost one of their three previous appearances at this stage. It will also be Netherlands fourth appearance in the third-place match and, after 1974 and 1978, the second time that they have finished in the top four in successive tournaments.
Van Gaal's only change from the side which were eliminated on penalties by Argentina sees Nigel de Jong, who rapidly return from a groin muscle injury to feature in that match, replaced by Feyenoord midfielder Jordy Clasie. Dirk Kuyt starts at wing-back again once more in what will be his final game for Oranje as he has announced he will retire from international football after the tournament.
Netherlands (3-4-1-2): Cillessen; De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi; Kuyt, Clasie, Wijnaldum, Blind; Sneijder; Robben, Van Persie.
Felipao has Thiago Silva available once more as the centre-back returns from suspension to partner David Luiz in defence. Maxwell, Paulinho, Ramires and Willian all come in for Marcelo, Fernandinho, Hulk and Bernard respectively. The final change sees Jo start in attack, with the coach clearly sparing Fred from any potential for similar ill-treatment from the stands like that which he suffered in the semi-final.
Brazil (4-2-3-1): Julio Cesar; Maicon, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell; Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho; Ramires, Oscar, Willian; Jo.
The teams have been announced and unsurprisingly there are six changes for Brazil. On the other hand, Oranje make just one alteration to the side that started their semi-final against Argentina. Full line-ups on the way.
Off the back of their brutal 7-1 battering at the hands of Germany in the semi-final, Brazil are playing for pride this evening. They will not lift the trophy on home soil once more, but the Selecao know that nothing less than a win will do for their nation tonight. Netherlands, meanwhile, also feel they have something to play for, with Louis Van Gaal vocal in his wishes for the team to end the tournament unbeaten.
COMMENTARY: Goal dot com