The Netherlands beat the zombified corpse of Brazil's national team 3-0 in the ultimately meaningless World Cup third-place match Saturday, finally bringing an end to the host nation's drawn-out nightmare after one last bit of torture. Combined with Brazil's 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals, this marks the first time the nation with more World Cup titles than any other has lost two consecutive World Cup matches since 1974.
With an injured Neymar watching from the bench, the Netherlands picked up right where Germany left off when Arjen Robben sliced through Brazil's still tender defense in just the second minute. Captain Thiago Silva, who was suspended for the semifinal, pulled Robben down by his shoulder from behind to give the Dutch an early penalty, which Robin van Persie converted to make it 1-0. Continuing this tournament's often bizarre officiating, Silva was lucky to only be shown a yellow card for the foul.
Keeping the pain train chugging along for the silent Brazilian crowd, Daley Blind pushed the score to 2-0 in the 16th minute as the Brazilians played as if they had all retreated to the happy place in the deep recesses of their minds in order to try and avoid complete emotional breakdowns. The strange referee decisions carried on into the second half, this time against Brazil when Oscar was shown a yellow card for diving even though he should have been awarded a penalty.
The Netherlands finished off the match by adding one more goal in added time to make it 3-0 before putting third-choice goalkeeper Michael Vorm into the match so it could become the first team in World Cup history to use all 23 players during the tournament.
Once the match was finally over, the Dutch collected their third-place medals to end an impressive tournament that exceeded all expectations as manager Louis van Gaal will now take over at Manchester United. Brazil, meanwhile, will be hoping that the Germans beat Argentina in the final so the hosts can quietly mourn what's happened in this tournament without their noisy neighbors partying in their streets.
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