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Friday, July 02, 2010

Netherlands 2-1 Brazil


The Line-Ups:


Netherlands: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen/André Ooijer., 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst; 7-Dirk Kuyt, 6-Mark van Bommel, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 8-Nigel de Jong, 11-Arjen Robben; 9-Robin van Persie.

Brazil: 1-Julio Cesar; 2-Maicon, 3-Lucio, 4-Juan, 6-Michel Bastos, 5-Felipe Melo, 8-Gilberto Silva, 13-Dani Alves, 10-Kaka, 11-Robinho, 9-Luis Fabiano.


Brazil Review - SWOT:

Strength – A team that has won 5 World Cup titles is always a nation take into account and that happens for a reason. Top quality players so many that is hard to choose a balanced 23 squad leaving out other important names. Still, dead ball situations and a mixed counter-attack with contemporary approach to the game will see Brazil on top most of their matches.

Weaknesses – Clashes of egos and struggle to break into goal playing against nations that develop a highly defensive strategy. Even though they are always among the favorites to win the competitions where they head to; their low pressure from midfielders is not the best one allowing a precedent to strong nations to take advantage like Netherlands, England, Italy, Spain for instance that have touch and go approach.

Opportunities – Using the individual’s skill to emphasize their group. If they perform at the level they got us used to, they will be hard to beat and that’s enough to describe it.


Netherlands Review - SWOT:

Strength – Do you even remember when was the last time you have seen Netherlands losing a match? They have one of the best midfield and offensive lines if not the best at the moment. From the last 7 matches, 6 were against World Cup seeded teams, still no loss recorded. There are no words to define this squad and other than reaching the final will be regarded as failure.

Weaknesses – The loss of Van der Sar and not having found yet a goalkeeper of such status alongside with a weak and slow defense regardless the few goals they have conceded. The way they quickly find a very positive result favoring them just to let it slip through their “hands”. Meaning they fall asleep too easily after scoring one or more goals allowing opposition to thrive if they capitalize from chances.

Opportunities – In case their triumvirate step up the game as they have done in the warm ups to the World Cup as well in the whole season, they could reach the crown in a fashionable way. Winning the first match against Denmark will deliver them the first place for sure.

Threats – If Netherlands underperform like they always do in top competitions just as it happens in an equally proportion with Spain, England and France. Orange has a lot of pressure on them because of the world class quality of players they possess.


This shall be the most interesting match in the competition. Neither Brazil nor Netherlands got an opponent to pressure their weaknesses but surely in this match either of the teams will get exposed.

When talking about Brazil they will have not the chance to display effectively their 3-5-2 box-to-box strategy because there is not much space for Maicon and Daniel Alves/Bastos to attack in the way the Samba boys are used to. All of this at the expense of Kuyt, Sneijder and Robber playing on the other side that will pressure them high in the field threatening that offensive approach from Brazil.

Netherlands weakness will come from their direct game once Brazil as quick players as much as the Orange and their 4-5-1 formation might not be the best to face the Canarinha. Brazil has two defenders centre and a defensive midfielder covering for them in a line that precedes their defensive set-up. Further to that Daniel Alves and Melo are playing as wing back so we see a much more defensive Brazil than we are used to and it is all about mind-games from Brazilian coach Dunga. Netherlands focus on Van Persie to deliver but they must not forget that the player himself just recently returned from his injury and might not be able to get on his best form in a decisive match like this, but the match will tell us that.

First ten minutes and God is shining on Brazil. Robinho scores!!!!!! Through the center…As we stated in the preview to this match, Brazil would have to change their approach and get a high level of adaptability. They have done it! Melo sends the ball in a wonderful breakthrough pass and opens the Orange defense to find Robinho that strikes comfortably to make it 1-0 for Brazil.

Heading into the first 30 minutes it is interesting to see how Brazil transformed themselves accordingly to what Netherlands has displayed. By this we mean that Brazil is playing fantastically through the center like if they were playing from the wings that is the normal strategy used by Canarinha. Furthermore, it has been crucial the way that the Brazilian defense closes down on Robben leaving no margin for him to come into the center from the outside in order to use his left foot powerful swerving shot and this is a wise stratagem from Dunga.

Brazil score inside the first ten minutes of the first half and so did Netherlands in the second-half. The first half hero Melo messed up jumping ahead of Julio Cesar heading to Brazil’s empty net after a curling cross from Sneijder. So with 55 minutes we have Netherlands 1-1 Brazil.

And it is Sneijder again!!! Through a corner from Robben and a slight touch from Kuyt it is Sneijder that heads it to the top corner of Brazil’s net making 2-1. Netherlands made it!! They came from behind to scope this result. History stats that each time that Brazil and Netherlands faced each-other then the winning team always get to the final of the competition.

Red Card and Melo is off!!! The referee dismisses Melo after he did aggressively stamped his boots on Robben while the Dutch was on the floor.

BRAZIL’s OUT!! Netherlands are on the semi-final.

No more pragmatism from Dunga and Netherlands made it happen against all odds. After England, France, Italy it is now Brazil out. The plot thickens.


MAN OF THE MATCH: Sneijder




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