FIFA 2014

The same old story

BRIGHT SPARK... Oscar.

BRIGHT SPARK... Oscar.  

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Brazil failed to learn the lessons from its semifinal debacle against Germany. Although the more tactically disciplined Ramires and Willian started as wide attackers for the host, the pair of Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho once again proved to be lightweight in the middle.

Consequently, Brazil was staggeringly open in the first 20 minutes and fell two goals behind.

The Dutch didn’t press with similar intensity thereafter. Instead, they sat deeper and looked to play on the counter. With Willian increasingly dropping into central positions and Nigel de Jong missing due to injury, Brazil found more room in the middle to put pressure on the Netherlands.

Oscar was especially magnificent as he came deep to receive the ball, charged forward with intensity and picked out his teammates in good positions. It wasn’t a surprise that the Chelsea midfielder made 23 passes in the final third — the highest in the match.

Since the unsteady Bruno Martins Indi was regularly drawn into undesirable positions, Brazil’s attacking focus remained on the right, until Dirk Kuyt switched to that flank. The host introduced Hulk and Hernanes later, but failed to pierce the Dutch defence impressively marshalled by Ron Vlaar and Stefan de Vrij.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:59:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/fifa-2014/the-same-old-story/article6207595.ece

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