After a devastating defeat by Germany, the Brazil national football team will have to pick up their national shirt and march into the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia on Saturday in the match against Netherlands for World Cup 2014 third place. The fans in Brazil and Netherlands will also need to pick up their respective country's flags to show their support, knowing that their team has tried their best and persevered until the semifinals, a feat reserved only for the top four teams in the world.
This Saturday, July 12, Brazil vs. Netherlands World Cup 2014 third place match will be televised by ESPN, and fans from around the world can watch the game online through live stream on WatchESPN (free for cable subscribers.)
As the world should know by now, Brazil suffered a 1-7 loss, which not even if Neymar had not been injured and their captain Thiago Silva was not suspended could have saved the team from this fate; while Holland did lose, they lost only after a scoreless 99 minutes before Argentina beat them 4-2 in penalty kicks.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal commented on how his team was "equal to them [Argentina], if not better, so it is a big disappointment."
"We played a fantastic tournament. Nobody had expected us to make it through from the group stage but reached the semi-finals, played a top country with top players, didn't lose but went out on penalties.
Holland vs. Argentina's goalless match is unprecedented in World Cup semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari faced scrutiny and criticisms after Selecao's defeat to Germany on Tuesday.
During a press conference after the game, the 65-year-old held up a sheet of paper detailing Brazil's record since he took over in late 2012, according to Daily Mail. In 28 matches, Brazil have won 19, drawn six and lost three, and in 11 World Cup matches they have lost just once, winning eight times and drawing in the remaining two.
Last summer Brazil won the Confederations Cup on home soil under Scolari, beating Spain 3-0 in the final.
The Brazilian coach tried to take the positives from this experience, commenting how it is the first time that they reached the semi-finals since 2002 despite the bad defeat, the Daily Mail reported. He said that if he could explain what happened that led to the five goals by Germany, he would, but he said he "cannot explain" and "will not justify."
"An error occurred and this error was fatal," he said. "We can lose by one or two but we lost in a way that we had never done before in the history of Brazilian football."
Now, Brazil and Netherlands will be meeting on Saturday for third place. In their 11 head-to-head matches, each side won had the same number of wins (3) and draws (5) and goals (15). While the record showed an even match, Brazil will still be playing without their striker Neymar, but the teams will still need to meet according to the rules established in 1938.
Van Gaal said that World Cup third-place playoff match should "never be played" for it is "unfair," according to Yahoo Sports.
I think that this match should never be played. I have been saying this for the past 10 years.
We will just have to play the game but it is unfair. We will have one day less to recover and that's not fair play. But the worst thing is, I believe, there is a chance that you lose twice in a row in a tournament in which you've played so marvelously well. You go home as a 'loser' because possibly you've lost the last two matches.
This game has nothing to do with sports in my opinion. No tournament, no football tournament, especially in the last stage, should you have players playing for third or fourth. There is only one prize and one award that counts for anything and that is becoming champion.
Meanwhile, despite their devastating loss, Scolari gave an encouraging remark on how the Brazilian national football team has an obligation to move on and think about the next goal, which is the match for third place in Brazil.
"I know it's a much smaller dream than we all wanted but have to honor the shirt of the national team," he said, according to the BBC.
The Brazil vs. Netherlands World Cup third place match will begin airing at 1 p.m. PST on ESPN, and can be watched online through live stream by clicking here.