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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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Netherlands-Brazil 2-1

Quarterfinal
Friday 2 July 2010 - 16h00 CET
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)

Holland have done what no one but us and the team believed at halftime: beat Brazil and progress to the semifinal. In the first half Brazil were all over the Netherlands, and the ease with which Robinho scored the Brazilian goal let all in orange fear the worst. Holland were all over the place and it seemed a matter of time before Brazil would score a second and decide matters.

But... they didn't, mainly because of some great goal keeping by Maarten Stekelenburg.

So at half time there was a chance for Bert van Marwijk to correct certain things, which he did. After the break Holland came out a lot more aggressive, putting more pressure on the ball and moving forward with a lot more urge than in the first half.

Yet it took a big mistake by Brazilian goal keeper Julio Cesar for Holland to really get back in it. Wesley Sneijder said before the game that Cesar was weak on high crosses and the shot stopper proved his team mate right in the 53rd minute. Sneijder's high cross seemed an easy prey for Felipe Melo, but intimidated by Cesar who tried to punch it (and missed) the ball skimmed off the back of the head of the ducking Melo and went into the net.

After that surprise goal Holland were eye level with the Brazilians and looked like world beaters. Brazil tried to get back to their first half form, but with Holland defending a lot more determined Brazil couldn't get through like they did before the break. First Kaká went very close with a shot, and shortly after Sneijder decided the game. Dirk Kuyt flicked on a Robben corner at the near post which was headed in by the shortest player on the pitch - Wesley Sneijder - from inside the six yard line: 2-1.

When Felipe Melo stamped on the floored Arjen Robben on purpose, the Brazilian defender was sent of with a red card and the game was over. Brazil tried to create something forward, but despite a number of corners didn't really get anywhere. Holland had a few good chances on the counter, but lacked energy to remain clinically in front of goal.

It wasn't a pretty match, it wasn't a high quality match. But it was full of (Melo)drama, full of tension and in the end the Dutch were the winners.

What else do we want?

Goals

0-1 10' Robinho
53' W. Sneijder 1-1
68' W. Sneijder 2-1

Cards

14' J. Heitinga  
  37' M. Bastos
47' G. van der Wiel  
64' N. de Jong  
  73' Felipe Melo
76' A. Ooijer  

Lineups

M. Stekelenburg   Julio Cesar  
A. Ooijer   Dani Alves  
G. van der Wiel   Juan  
J. Heitinga   Lucio  
G. van Bronckhorst   Maicon  
M. van Bommel   Felipe Melo  
N. de Jong   Gilberto Silva  
W. Sneijder   M. Bastos 62' Gilberto
A. Robben   Kaka  
D. Kuyt   Luis Fabiano 77' Nilmar
R. van Persie 85' K. Huntelaar Robinho  

 

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