Brazil

Brazil 0-3 The Netherlands: Dutch delight while hosts limp to fourth placed finish

The Netherlands finished the 2014 World Cup as the third best team thanks to a 0-3 win over hosts Brazil with goals from Robin Van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Van Persie’s second minute penalty gave the Netherlands the lead in the traditional tournament match that many consider a dead rubber as Brazil’s hangover from their Semi Final thrashing continued to linger.

Arjen Robben was fouled by Thiago Silva in an incident that appeared to occur outside the box but one thing that was certain was that the Brazil Captain should have seen red for the second time this summer as he was the last man.

He was only shown a yellow card however and Van Persie dispatched the resulting spot-kick past a despondent Julio Cesar.

Silva’s new Paris Saint-Germain teammate David Luiz’s poor from continued when he headed Jonathan De Guzman’s cross into the path of Blind who calmly slotted home a second for the Dutch on 17 minutes.

2002 Champions Brazil conceded their tenth goal in two games when Daryl Janmaat’s low cross was diverted past Cesar’s near post by Wijnaldum.

Ramires came closest for Brazil when he shot wide just before the hour mark after leaving Ron Vlaar in his wake.

Oscar thought he had won a penalty for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s dejected squad but was booked for simulation. The Chelsea man knocked the ball past Blind and the two clashed knees but the referee Djamel Haimoudi of Algeria indicated there was no wrongdoing.

Blind himself was carried off injured following the clash.

Like most other matches involving Holland this World Cup, Robben believed he was due a penalty, this time after being tugged by Fernandinho but the referee said no again.

Louis Van Gaal diminished the importance of the third place playoff game before kick-off but will have little qualms with his side finishing in the football equivalent of a bronze medal place as he embarks on his forthcoming Manchester United career.

Brazil 1-7 Germany: Hosts humiliated as Germany in seventh heaven

Miroslav Klose became the all time top goalscorer in World Cup history as Germany are the first team to secure their spot in the 2014 Final with a thumping 1-7 win over hosts Brazil.

Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira also netted while Toni Kroos and substitute Andre Schurrle both scored a brace in one of the worst nights in Brazil’s fabled history.

Muller opened the scoring when he hit a side footed volley past Julio Cesar from Bastian Schweinsteiger’s corner just eleven minutes in.

Golden Boot candidate Muller, 24, was unmarked in the box and it was a sign of things to come as Brazil’s defense was lackadaisical throughout.

Thiago Silva missed the game through suspension and Germany were quick to test out the new partnership of Dante and stand-in skipper David Luiz and exposed it to maximum effect.

Klose netted his record breaking goal with 23 minutes played after a neat passing move from the Germans. Kross picked out Muller who laid it back to Klose, his initial shot was saved but the Lazio striker had no problem converting the rebound for 0-2.

Marcelo and Fernandinho the men to blame for the goal, Mesut Ozil and Phillip Lahm had little trouble on the left to work it to Kroos while Fernandinho missed the vital interception that gave the Bayern play-maker the space to orchestrate the play.

Not even Klose: Miroslav Klose scores Germany second to become the finest marksmen in World Cup history.

Not even Klose: Miroslav Klose scores Germany’s second to become the finest marksmen in World Cup history as Brazil are thrashed.

Full back Marcelo was suspect again for the third that arrived just seconds after too. Ozil and Lahm again enjoying the space on the left, Lahm found Kroos with a pinpoint cross that was smashed home first time. Cesar got a hand to it but to no avail.

Germany ran rampant in Belo Horizonte and added a fourth only a minute later – the most embarrassing of the lot. Stupid, careless passing finished with Fernandinho losing the ball cheaply to Kroos who played in Khedira who unselfishly squared it back to Kroos for a simple tap in.

The wait for the fifth wasn’t too long either, three minutes after number four went in, Germany added to their rout with a carbon copy of the previous strike. Former Real Madrid teammates Khedira and Ozil with a one-two that the current Galactico slotted in.

179 seconds separated Germany’s second goal from their fifth.

Joachim Loew’s side didn’t let up in the second half either, Schurrle converted Lahm’s low cross for six. Again Marcelo outdone on the left, again Luiz failing to organise his back four like the absent Silva does so well.

A bad night for Luiz continued to get worse when his former Chelsea colleague Schurrle added his second and Germany’s seventh.

The £50 million PSG man rampaged forward as he so often did throughout the course of the game and ended up being caught out again this time by long, direct Jerome Boateng throw in that Muller flicked on to the path of Schurrle who beat Cesar at his near post with a half volley that went in off the underside of the bar.

Oscar did hit back with a the most worthless consolation goal. Brazil broke following a poor miss from Ozil, Oscar escaped through the middle, sidestepped the last defender and buried the shot.

It was Brazil’s joint worst ever defeat and the biggest margin of victory ever in a World Cup Semi Final.

Brazil fans expected their players to return as heroes but instead they go back humbled as Deutschland are in dreamland.

Brazil 1-1 Chile (Brazil win 3-2 on penalties)

Hosts Brazil booked their place in the Quarter Finals with a win over Chile but had to rely on a penalty shootout.

Gonzalo Jara, recently released by Nottingham Forest, had the unenviable role of having to score the deciding penalty but his spot-kick hit the post and away to send Brazil through.

David Luiz, Marcelo and Neymar all netted from twelve yards for El Selecao while Maurico Panilla, Alexis Sanchez and Charles Aranguiz could not convert for Chile.

Paris Saint-Germain’s latest signing Luiz kneed the Brazilians in front 18 minutes in after Thiago Silva headed on Neymar’s corner for a simple finish for his new teammate.

Sanchez leveled the scores after 32 minutes when Brazil lost the ball cheaply from a throw in in their own half. Sanchez slotted home past Julio Cesar with ease after being given the time and space by the Brazilian back line.

Chile almost spoiled the party in the last minute of extra time but Pinilla could only hit the bar with a fierce drive in the dying seconds.

Brazil thought they had a winner ten minutes into the second half when Hulk shinned in an effort but after consideration from his linesman, Howard Webb ruled that the Zenit man controlled the ball with his arm.

Hulk also should have made it 2-1 to Brazil seven minutes before the end but had his shot brilliantly saved by Claudio Bravo.

The two teams had to settle for penalties though and it was Brazil who would book themselves a spot in the last eight.

 

 

Cameroon 1-4 Brazil: Brilliant Brazil bound for second round

Neymar

Hosts Brazil cemented their spot as group winners with a comfortable 1-4 win over pointless Cameroon. A brace from Neymar along with one each from Fred and Fernandinho set up a round 2 meeting with Chile.

Neymar gave Brazil the lead in Brasilia when he side footed Luiz Gustavo’s cross first time past Charles Intandje who had no chance

The face of the tournament doubled his tally with 35 minutes played when he dribbled past some Cameroon defenders and finished past Intandje with style again, sending him the wrong way with an accurate finish.

Fred sealed the win with a close range header from David Luiz’s cross five minutes into the second half to kill off Cameroon’s hopes of a shock.

Cameroon had infact leveled the scores nine minutes after going behind with Joel Matip tapping home his first goal for the Indomitable Lions, turning home Allan Nyom’s squared pass.

Neymar had chances to get a third for Brazil, no closer when his volley was palmed out and away by former Liverpool Goalkeeper Intandje with 20 minutes played.

He never did get his illusive hat-trick though and was replaced by Willian in the closing stages as a precaution for the latter stages of the competition.

A neat passing move provided the fourth and final goal for Brazil.  After they capitalized on a poor free-kick from Cameroon, Oscar fed Fernandinho who gave it to Fred, to Oscar, and then back to Fernandinho around the edge of the box and the Manchester City play-maker tucked it in first time for 1-4.

Elsewhere in Group A, Mexico defeated Croatia 1-3 with goals from Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado and Javier Hernandez which sets up a last 16 tie with Group B winners The Netherlands.

Cameroon 0-4 Croatia: Indomitable Lions exit without a roar

Cameroon exited the World Cup at the group stage for the fifth time in a row following a 0-4 defeat to group A rivals Croatia with goals from Ivica Olic and Ivan Perisic along with a brace from Mario Mandzukic.

A bizarre red card from Alex Song summed up a miserable night for the Africans.

The Barcelona midfielder lashed out in an off the ball challenge with Mario Mandzukic, elbowing the Croatian in the back needlessly just before half time.

The Indomitable Lions were surprisingly domitable as Croatia run Cameroon ragged in the humidity of Manaus.

Croatia were already in front before the sending off thanks to Ivica Olic scoring a tap in following Ivan Perisic’s squared pass on 11 minutes.

Perisic scored himself three minutes into the second half to confirm Cameroon’s casualty when he broke free of the defense before slotting home past former Liverpool Goalkeeper Charles Intandje after a fine solo run.

Want-away Bayern Munich striker Mandzukic made it 0-3 just after the hour when he headed in Danijel Pranjic’s corner.

Super Mario: Mandzukic confirms Cameroon's exit.

Super Mario: Mandzukic confirms Cameroon’s exit.

He added his second with 72 minutes on the clock when Intandje parried Eduardo’s shot straight to Mandzukic who beat the offside trap and had the simple task to tap home the fourth.

If he was more clinical earlier on, Mandzukic could have walked home with the match-ball but somehow fired wide when he looked odds on to score.

Croatia now head into next Monday’s clash with Mexico with confidence where the winner will qualify for the second round with hosts Brazil joining them if they can overcome a despondent Cameroon.

Brazil 0-0 Mexico: Hosts held by mighty Mexico

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Mexico defied the odds to hold hosts Brazil to a 0-0 draw in Fortaleza, an outstanding performance by the Mexican goalkeeper will live long in the memory.

They even looked most likely to score for the majority. Hector Herrera came closest in the first half when his pile driver was tipped over the bar brilliantly by Julio Cesar, the referee failed to award a corner though.

There was an even better save a minute later however when Guillermo Ochoa produced the save of the tournament so far, clawing away a Neymar header when it looked certain to ripple the net. Some Brazilians likening it to Gordan Banks’ iconic save against Pele’s in 1970 on Twitter.

Ochoa was also equal to a David Luiz effort from close range just before half time.

The out of contract Ajaccio stopper superbly kept out a Tiago Silva header five minutes before the end with a reaction save after Neymar’s flighted free-kick, Ochoa could well have attracted the attention of a number of clubs following tonight’s display.

Miguel Herrera’s plucky outfit really took the game to Brazil in the second period, Jose Juan Vazquez and Oribe Peralta both fired over ten minutes after the break.

Andres Guardado curled an effort over from a tight angle in added time before Marco Fabian volleyed low after setting himself up but Cesar got down to punch it clear.

Brazil’s nearest miss came when Neymar curled a free-kick wide on 63 minutes.

Neymar had dyed his hair peroxide blonde before the match and may be thinking of changing it back following a below par performance.

Controversy reared its ugly head for Brazil again like it did in their opener against Croatia. First Silva was perhaps fortunate to avoid a red after taking out a Mexican forward and then Marcelo went down in the box with an embarrassing dive. Unlike Fred in Sao Paulo though, a penalty was not awarded.

 

 

World Cup Preview: Costa Rica

Costa Rica go into this World Cup with every right to be downhearted, a group that will see them face Italy, Uruguay and England will almost certainly seal a first round exit.

If there is anything the Costa Ricans can be optimistic about, they will find it. Inspiration could be taken from their last World Cup appearance in 2006 that, although they lost every game, they were fairly competitive.

A narrow 4-2 loss to hosts Germany in game one of the tournament showed how they can worry the big sides. Paulo Wanchope leveled the scores at 1-1 in Munich while two of Germany’s goals – Phillip Lahm’s opener and Torsten Frings’ sealer were truly unstoppable.

Costa Rica have reached round two on previous occasion though, finishing second in a group of Brazil, Sweden and Scotland in Italia 90 before a 4-1 thrashing by Czechoslovakia.

Joel Campbell, on loan at Olympiakos from Arsenal, will be the inspiration in Brazil but he, and the rest of La Sele will need to have the best three games of their lives if they are going to upset all the odds in group D.