Netherlands stroll to win over ragged Brazil

BRASILIA, (Reuters) – Another ragged defensive display by Brazil allowed the Netherlands to stroll to a 3-0 victory in the World Cup third-place playoff match today as the hosts ended the tournament in depressing fashion.

The Dutch had failed to score in the four hours of their previous two knockout games but were gifted two goals in the opening 16 minutes. The first came when Thiago Silva, back from suspension, was lucky to escape a red card as he pulled back Arjen Robben in the area and Robin van Persie converted the penalty after three minutes.

A terrible clearance header by David Luiz then dropped invitingly for Daley Blind to hammer in the second and Brazil, with six changes to the team humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals, rarely looked like getting back into the game with another disjointed performance.

They did exert some pressure in the second half but still failed to seriously test Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen and the boos rang out when the unmarked Georginio Wijnaldum turned in the third goal in stoppage time.

Having gone 39 years without a competitive home defeat, Brazil have now suffered two in five days.

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