World Cup 2010 - Netherlands stun Brazil

Nigel de Jong and the Netherlands produced a stunning second half turnaround to knock out favourites Brazil with a come from behind 2-1 win to book a semi-final clash with Uruguay on Tuesday evening.

At half-time, a Robinho strike looked to have set Brazil on their way and the Dutch appeared to be on the ropes. Unable to create, the Netherlands found themselves second fiddle to a Brazil side who looked compact and out-muscled the Oranje in a game that at times was more physical than expected.

The Brazilian attack was also fluid, Kaka looking more dangerous than previously and Robinho, coming off the left hand side was constantly involved and took his goal well.

de Jong, and Mark van Bommel alongside him, were unable to provide the stability and security for a defence that lost Joris Matijsen in the pre-game warm up, being replaced by Andre Oojier. 

The game though turned in a fifteen minute spell in the second half that saw Brazil the architects of their own downfall. 

Firstly, goalkeeper Julio Cesar made a hash of collecting a free kick and could only watch as his missed punch resulted in the ball going in off Felipe Melo, before poor marking allowed an unmarked Wesley Sneijder the freedom to head home from close range.

To compound the misery of the Selecao, Melo then ensured he became persona non grata in Rio as his mindless stamp on Arjen Robben saw him sent off and Brazil could not muster a comeback and were left stunned as they exited at the quarter-final stage.

de Jong however will miss the semi-final after picking up a second yellow card, but will take heart in the stat that shows that the winner of a Netherlands-Brazil match up at the World Cup has always gone on to the final and should that occur is de Jong will surely come straight back into the line-up.

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