Friday, July 11, 2014

WC 2014: 12th July - Some redemption for Brazil?

Saturday's match for third-place between Brazil and the Netherlands is a match no team wants to play; it signifies that they were close to getting to the final but failed.

I stated that Germany would eliminate Brazil in the semi-finals but obviously the 7-1 scoreline in favour of the Germans was not expected. It was a no-brainer that the hosts were facing the perfect storm against the mighty Germans when they had to start the match without Silva and Neymar. But their horrific display exposed the paucity of talent in their squad; something that the Brazilians are not accustomed to since the early days of football. The humiliating defeat will stay in football folklore for ever and Brazil will only recover when they lift the World Cup again. I don't know which will go down as the worst moment for Brazil; their home defeat at the Maracana in the 1950 World Cup against Uruguay or this year's 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Germans.

The Dutch lost their penalty shoot-out against Argentina. It's hard to have any sympathy for their loss as they were far from playing the total football their teams have been so remembered for. I think Van Gaal had to get results based on the limited talent at his disposal; besides Van Persie and Robben, there is hardly any world-class talent in that team; even Sneijder seems to have lost pace since his peak days a few years back. The Dutch did well to arrive at this stage of the competition.

This match for third place is the worst for punting. Both countries could be fielding their second team. It seems to be more like an exhibition match which makes it impossible to gauge. What seems certain though is that Brazil are in urgent need of forgiveness and redemption at this point. They will have Silva back but not Neymar. This might be the last time for Scolari and some of his players to somewhat atone for Tuesday's catastrophe; playing not just with passion, but also with their brains to get a result that their fans might cheer about. If one really wants a punt here, then Brazil to win that match is the obvious one to take.

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