It seemed like it would be impossible for Brazil's finish to the World Cup to get worse, after a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Germany (their first competitive loss at home in 62 matches). And they certainly came out fired up to show that that was a fluke.
The Netherlands got the ball to start, and the hosts were chasing the ball, on defense, all the way back to the goalie. But the Dutch dealt with that pressure, and after the ball getting all the way back to the goalie, they pushed it way upfield with a couple of passes. One of those went to van Persie in the air, and he headed it straight up in the air. It came down at his feet, with him facing his own goal. He saw Robben breaking, to his left, and turned and put it into space behind the defense.
Robben ran to the ball, and Silva, who'd been on van Persie, had to pull Robben down by his jersey at the top of the box. It was a weird call by the ref, who awarded the penalty kick and gave Silva a yellow card. Normally, a foul at that spot would be a foot or so outside the box, but it was a foul by the last defender and clearly should have been a red card.
By the time they finished arguing that out, and van Persie put the penalty kick into the top-right corner, it was still only the third minute of the game. The Brazilians were clearly off-kilter, though, at being behind so early, and it took them a while to settle down. Before they did, however, the Orangemen scored again with a run down the right side that went all the way to the touch line. From there, it was centered back to Blind, in the middle, who might have had enough time to drink a coffee while he took three touches, in place, to get a controlled shot into the net.
That was in the seventeenth minute, and was pretty much the end of the match, competitively speaking. The Brazilians did get several chances over the balance of the game, but were unable to convert any of them, putting it off to the side a couple of times.
Ramires, who'd had a decent game against Germany (one of the few; he came on as a sub for Hulk around halftime), and who looked decent against the Dutch, went out in favor of Hulk around halftime.
Hulk tried to repeat his runs down the left that showed some threat against Germany, but it was nothing doing.
The final score of the game didn't come until stoppage time, when Wijnaldum was left alone in the middle (this seems familiar, somehow) to knit a sweater for a relative. Or put the ball past Cesar, he had a difficult decision.
I've been very impressed by the Dutch coach, van Gaal, and he showed his class by subbing in his third-string goalie, Vorm, a minute or two after that. With that move, he'd managed to get his entire line-up onto the pitch at some point in the tournament. My understanding is that van Gaal is going to Man U for next season, and I think that'll work well for both him and the team.
In any event, while the Dutch went home fairly happy (but not going into space; nice PR move to make that offer), for the second time, hosting the World Cup ended in misery for the Brazilians (maybe they'll look for a co-lo host next time). It was the first time that they had lost consecutive home games of any sort in seventy-odd years; I can't imagine what the locker room was like afterwards.
In any event, it left only the title game to be played, with Germany taking on Argentina.