Brazil’s World Cup campaign came to a miserable end as the hosts were convincingly beaten by Netherlands in the third-place play-off.
- Brazil concede 10 goals in two games
- Players and manager booed off at full time
- Injured Neymar watches from the bench
- Back-to-back home defeats for first time since 1940
Goals from Robin van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum condemned Brazil to back-to-back defeats on home soil for the first time since 1940, following Tuesday’s embarrassing 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-final.
As an added insult, Brazil must now watch on as their fiercest rivals Argentina take on Germany for the chance to win the World Cup at Brazilian football’s spiritual home, the Maracana, on Sunday.
Having backed their side so vocally throughout, home supporters turned on Brazil on Tuesday, cheering opposition attacks and directing loud boos at their own players, and their frustration continued in the capital, Brasilia.
Brazil’s World Cup of woe
- This is the first time since 1940 that Brazil have lost consecutive matches on home soil (in 1940 they lost 3-0 v Argentina and 4-3 v Uruguay).
- Brazil have failed to score in two games in a World Cup tournament for the first time since 1978.
- This is only the second time in the past 10 World Cup third-place play-offs that a team has failed to score (Bulgaria lost 4-0 v Sweden in 1994).
- Belgium in 1986 (15 goals conceded) were the last team to concede 14 or more goals in a World Cup finals before Brazil this year (14).
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari bore the brunt of their anger, and his long-term future as national team boss is now in doubt.
Brazil’s fans had packed homes, bars and fan parks to watch the action, leaving streets near empty, but the shock defeat by Germany left a question mark over how they would greet their team before Saturday’s game.
There was little indication in the build-up that their interest had wavered, as thousands descended on the Copacabana beach fan park in Rio de Janeiro, while the Estadio Nacional was close to capacity.
When the teams emerged from the tunnel to go through their pre-match warm-ups, the players were greeted by loud cheers, which increased in volume when injured talisman Neymar appeared.
The striker – who scored four goals before a back injury ruled him out of the Germany debacle – was wearing a full training kit, but watched from the bench as his team-mates went onto the pitch.
It seemed the Brazilian fans were determined to support their team, but they also made it known they had not forgotten the defeat by Germany as loud boos rang out when the names of Scolari and beleaguered striker Fred were read out.
Fred was one of six starters against Germany who were relegated to the bench against Netherlands, and several players from Brazil’s 23-man squad will likely have played in their last World Cup.
Whatever the future does hold, it was briefly forgotten about before Saturday’s game as players and fans once again sang the Brazil national anthem in unison.
It was as rousing a rendition of the anthem as any throughout the tournament, but thoughts of redemption lasted barely three minutes, when Brazil captain Silva pulled back Robben and the referee awarded a penalty, which Van Persie expertly converted.
The home fans were stunned into silence, but it was to get worse barely 15 minutes later when they conceded a second. This time defender David Luiz headed a tame clearance straight to Blind and the Dutch midfielder found the top corner for his first international goal.
Brazilian faces were sullen, perhaps fearful of similar capitulation that saw Brazil concede five goals in just 18 minutes against Germany.
They improved as the half wore on, but it was not enough for the players to avoid being booed as they left the field at the break.
Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson
“The boos rained down on Brazil and their manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. It is very hard to envisage him surviving in the job. If reaching the semi-final was the minimum requirement they have achieved that, but what happened in that semi-final has been made worse, if that was possible, by this result.”
The game slowed to a pedestrian pace in the second half, with Brazil fans continuing to boo Scolari every time the big screen in the stadium showed the 65-year-old’s face.
Ramires flashed a shot wide before Oscar was booked for diving as Brazil strived for some way back into the game.
Instead, though, Wijnaldum completed another miserable defeat for Scolari’s side with a third in stoppage time.
Echoing full-time in the defeat by Germany, the final whistle was greeted with a huge chorus of boos.
It was a positive send-off for departing Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal as he embarks on his next assignment, as manager of Manchester United.
But for Brazil, a tournament that started with optimism and promise for the five-time winners ended in frustration.