Netherlands 2-1 Brazil
The curse of the Confederations Cup strikes again as Brazil were dramatically dumped out of the FIFA World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands in Port Elizabeth. No winners of the Confederation Cup has ever gone onto win the big one the year after and this year will be no different.
It was a feisty opening as Arjen Robben set the tone for the afternoon by throwing himself to the floor in a challenge from Dani Alves. The Seleção thought they were ahead after 8 minutes but a late flag from the assistant denied Alves and Robinho. Two minutes later though the Seleção were ahead, Felipe Melo with a ball straight through the Netherlands defence and Robinho was on hand to put the ball past Stekelenberg in the Netherlands goal. Brazil controlled the first half, they were in a position to cope with everything that the Netherlands could throw at them. Kaká nearly doubled the lead on the half hour but he was denied by a great save from Stekelenberg. Robben eventually managed to get Michel Bastos booked 7 minutes before the break after more theatrics.
Netherlands levelled the game 8 minutes after the break, after another piece of acting from Robben drew a foul from Bastos, the Dutchman who quickly on his feet to take a pass from Wesley Sneijder. Robben returned the ball to Sneijder and his nothing cross was messed up by Julío Cesár and the ball flicked off Felipe Melo for the second Netherlands own goal of the tournament. The Seleção were rattled, Bastos was hauled off to save him from further punishment from Robben and Gilberto of Cruzeiro was introduced. Half way through the half it got worse for Brazil. Melo left Sneijder unmarked in the box and he headed the Netherlands ahead. Melo then stupidly got himself sent off five minutes later for stamping on Robben and the mountain got even higher for the Seleção. Try as they might they couldn't break down the Netherlands defence, Stekelenberg had a dodgy moment when Brazil had a run of corners but the Seleção could find no way through and as they pressed for the equaliser Huntelaar wasted a golden opportunity to seal the game.
So the Seleção head off for home after making it back to back quarter final exits. No competitive games now for them until the Copa América in Argentina next year and with hosting the next tournament they are exempt from the CONMEBOL qualification process. The Confederations Cup will be held in Brazil in 2013 as a build up to the big show the year after. They will also be doing it with a new coach after Dunga announced he was quitting after the game.
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