Netherlands have finished third in the World Cup after a 3-0 victory over hosts Brazil on Saturday night.

  • By Michael Bell
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blind wijThe Oranje, playing in navy, made a blistering start to Louis van Gaal’s final game in charge and after only two minutes Arjen Robben steamed through the defence before being brought down by Thiago Silva, with the referee awarding a penalty. Van Persie stepped up and slammed the Dutch into the lead.

After 16 minutes it was 2-0 when David Luiz’s poor defensive header found Daley Blind on the edge of the box, and the Ajax star slammed right footed into the roof of the net.

Brazil’s formation allowed Netherlands a lot of space on the break and it could have been 3-0 when Robin van Persie found Jonathan de Guzman on the edge of the box, but his shot went just over the bar.

The host’s did come close to halving the deficit before the break but a wicked Oscar ball across the goal somehow evaded several Brazilian players.

Brazil continued to press in the second half, but Netherlands defended excellently with Ron Vlaar and Stefan de Vrij both continuing their outstanding form. Netherlands were lucky not to concede a penalty when Daley Blind appeared to bring down Oscar, but the referee instead booked the Brazilian for diving.

In injury time Netherlands sealed the win with Georginio Wijnaldum turning in Daryl Janmaat’s cross to make it 3-0, and compound the misery on Brazil.

Netherlands have come third for the first time in their history, and leave Brazil on a real high after remaining unbeaten in open play for the whole tournament. Its been another excellent display from a side that were written off before the tournament began, and it appears the future is bright for the Dutch.

Concentration now turns to Euro 2016 with Guus Hiddink coming in to take over from Louis van Gaal, who leaves for Manchester United.

However Netherlands can now enjoy the rest of their summer having done their nation proud. Thank you to Louis van Gaal & co its been an excellent ride!

Hup Holland Hup.

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