Netherlands (4-0-2) vs. Brazil (3-1-2), 4 p.m. (ET)
07/12/2014 8:20 AM
07/12/2014 8:21 AM
Brasilia, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Brazil will still be trying to make sense of its semifinal implosion on Saturday when the team faces the Netherlands in the third-place match at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia.
The hosts were embarrassed by Germany, 7-1, in Tuesday's semifinal as the Germans scored five times in the span of 18 minutes in the first half on their way to the dominant win.
Brazil's players and coaches were sort of at a loss to explain the destruction after the match, but head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is hopeful his men can still end the World Cup on a winning note.
"I know my career will be marked by this defeat, but we have an obligation to move on and think about the next goal, which in this case is the match for third place on Saturday in Brasilia," Scolari said.
"I know it's a much smaller dream than we all wanted, but we have to honor the shirt of the national team."
In addition to Neymar missing the Germany match because of injury, Brazil was also without captain Thiago Silva through suspension and his absence in the middle of the Selecao's defense was very evident.
Brazil was booed off the field at halftime of the semifinal with the team trailing 5-0, but Silva is hopeful that the fans can help to lift the players for one last match at this tournament.
"This is a bad time so we need strength from our fans," said Silva, who will be eligible to return to the lineup for Saturday's fixture. "I guarantee that we will play this Saturday's game like it was the final."
The Netherlands came extremely close to returning to the World Cup final as the Dutch lost on penalty kicks to Argentina following a 0-0 match through 120 minutes.
After reaching the final in 2010 and losing in extra time to Spain, it will certainly be tough for Louis van Gaal's team to lift themselves for Saturday's contest.
The Oranje saw Argentina score on each of its four penalty kick attempts, while Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder both saw their shots saved by Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
"It does hurt [to lose this way], especially if you are one of the players to miss," Sneijder said of the shootout. "I think there was only one team that wanted penalties and that was them [Argentina]. And yes, they won, so well done to them. It's all about taking responsibility in those situations, and sometimes [in shootouts] things can go wrong. But of course I am sad."
Sneijder scored a crucial equalizer in the 88th minute against Mexico in the round of 16 to help the Dutch advance, while his side was on the opposite side of a shootout against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals.
The Netherlands has yet to win a World Cup despite playing in the finals three times, while the Dutch have now lost twice in the semifinals as well.
For now the Dutch will once again have to settle for the role of bridesmaid, and while both teams would like to go out with a win, Saturday's match doesn't figure to offer much solace for either side.
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