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Netherlands 2-1 Brazil

July 2nd, 2010

Heading in: Wesley Sneijder gives Holland the lead with a header Photo: REUTERS

Read a full match report of the World Cup 2010 quarter final game between Holland and Brazil at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, on Friday July 2nd 2010

With a stunning comeback, Holland sent Brazil, the favourites, crashing out of the World Cup. Two second-half goals – including an own goal by Felipe Melo – over-turned Brazil’s comfortable lead at the interval when they appeared to be re-capturing the football of old.

Melo proved to be the villain of the piece, sent off for a stamp on Arjen Robben, though the Dutch’s at-times cynical tactics infuriated their opponents who stared in disbelief at the end at their exit.

They had appeared in complete control after Robinho, capitalising on poor marking, with Andre Ooijer a late replacement in central defence, running through to meet Melo’s pass to easily beat Maarten Stekelenburg.

The Dutch were swamped with the movement from the Brazilians carving out opportunities for Robinho in particular. Juan should have added a second but shot over while Luis Fabiano wasted a chance with a header.

Robinho’s quick feet then set up Kaka whose curling shot was clawed away by Stekelenburg. The game began to become tetchy and bad-tempered, with cautions accumulated, and Arjen Robben angering the Brazilian by continually going to ground easily.

However the contest switched with an horrendous error by goalkeeper Julio Cesar who failed to reach Wesley Sneijder’s cross as it brushed off Melo’s headed and landed in the net. Brazil were stung into action and Kaka went close with a side-footed shot but then from Robben’s corner, Dirk Kuyt flicked on and Sneijder, probably the smallest player on the pitch, headed home.

Moments later and Brazil’s tournament fell apart with Melo dismissed for a straight red card after stamping on Robben.

By Jason Burt

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