Brazil v Netherlands Play-off Preview and Semi-Final Review

Brazil was in shock and horror on Tuesday night, as Germany scored three goals in three minutes, and four in six, on the way to a 7-1 record-breaking victory. Fans were shown burning Brazil shirts afterwards, even ones of Neymar, who wasn’t even playing against Germany!

Brazil v Netherlands

English: de:Bild:Brasilien_topo.jpg

English: de:Bild:Brasilien_topo.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi, it’s Martin ‘Werewolfie’ Adams, satirical comedy sports correspondent at the greenYgrey with a short sharp preview of tonight’s third and fourth play-off at Brazil’s World Cup 2014.

Brazil has put on a great World Cup, and it has been a credit to their country and continent, with many people thinking it is the best World Cup since the World Cup was last in South America.

The Netherlands has played some great football, and exceeded most people’s expectations.

Brazil: Pride in Glorious Defeat

While many Brazilian fans think anything less than winning the World Cup was failure, they should be proud of their team.

No team showed more pride and passion than their players, with some of their emotional outpourings looking over the top.

English: Pelé dribbling past a defender during...

English: Pelé dribbling past a defender during Malmö-Brazil 1-7 (Pelé scored 2 goals) at Malmö city stadium. Français : Pelé dribble un défenseur durant le match Malmö-Brazil de 1960 au stade de Malmö. Score 7-1 pour le Brésil, dont deux buts de Pelé. Svenska: Pelé på Malmö stadion 1960. Matchen mellan Brasiliens landslag och Malmö FF slutade 7–1 och Pelé gjorde två mål (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately for Brazil, their current generation of players just didn’t have enough skill.

I’m sure Fred, Hulk and David Luiz were trying as much as anybody, it’s just that they are not in the same league of player as great Brazilian players of the past. Luiz looked the most motivated against Columbia in the quarter-final, and the most hopeless against Germany in the final.

Luiz Felipe Scolari played an attacking team v Germany, and if he’d played a defensive team and lost 1-0 I’m sure he’d have been criticised for that. In some ways, the 7-1 scoreline is a credit to Brazil, and a testament to its tradition of attacking football.

Netherlands: Galling Van Gaal Blunder 

The Netherlands 2014 team will probably be remembered by most football historians for their amazing 5-1 win over current champions Spain in the two teams’ opening game.

However, in the greenYgrey world the double greenYgrey goalie substitution in their quarter-final v Costa Rica will live longest in the virtual record books.Tim Krul, Jasper Cillessen, Holland, Costa Rica, Netherlands, World Cup 2014, penalties

While Dutch manager Van Gaal did a great greenYgrey masterstroke in that game, with English Premier League golden greenYgrey goalie Tim Krul coming on to save two Costa Rican penalites, for some reason Van Gaal failed to do the same in the semi-final v Argentina.

Instead, Van Gaal substituted Robin Van Persie, who usually takes the first Dutch penalty, meaning that Cillesson remained in goalie, with no further substitutions available.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup logo is announced in J...

The 2014 FIFA World Cup logo is announced in Johannesburg during a ceremony with with CBF president Ricardo Texeira, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and FIFA president Joseph Blatter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jasper Cillesson has never saved a penalty in professional football, despite having an exemplary World Cup in a great greenYgrey goalie kit, and didn’t save any of the Argentinian penalties, although he got close to two. Cillesson is a great solid goalie, but doesn’t seem to have as fast reflexes as Tim Krul, who might have saved those two?

Moreover, Ron Vlaar took the first Dutch penalty and missed! Wesley Sneijder also missed, and the historically best footballing nation never to win the World Cup went out in the semi-final, having lost in the final to Argentina thirty-six years previously.

Van Gaal said he’d substituted Van Persie because he was exhausted, but with hindsight he might have left him on, even if he waited for penalties sitting in the centre circle!

That might sound strange, but so was substituting greenYgrey goalies for penalties; although it seemed entirely rational after it won the quarter-final for the Dutch.

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