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World Cup

Holland knock Brazil out and make it to semis

Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder is lifted by teammate John Heitinga as they celebrate in Port Elizabeth
Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder is lifted by teammate John Heitinga as they celebrate in Port Elizabeth REUTERS/David Gray

Holland shocked a ten-man Brazilian team into a 2-1 defeat in the World Cup quarter-finals, with a goal from the Dutch Wesley Sneijder in Port Elizabeth.

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Robinho gave the Brazilian team the lead within the first ten minutes of the match, breaking through Holland's back-line, and keeping the Dutch team at bay for the first half of the match.

But after half-time, Holland roared back into the game, boosted by a Brazilian defense blunder that lead to an equalizer.

Eight minutes after the restart, Schneijder curled over a cross, keeper Julio Cesar missed it and the ball glanced in off Melo’s head in the 53rd minute.

Melo was sent off for a stamp on the Dutch Arjen Robben in the 73rd, leaving Brazil with ten men down the stretch.

Brazil remained on the offensive for the rest of the mathc but failed to restore their lead.

Sneijder’s goal came on a header off a corner kick in the 68th minute, sending the Oranje fans gathered in the stadium wild with excitement. Twice finalists now play Uruguay or Ghana in Cape Town next Tuesday for a spot in the final.

The 26-year-old man of the match, Sneijder, reflecting on his crucial goal, said: "This was my first header here, I don't think it will happen again, but it was great. The ball slipped on my bald head and went into the net, a great feeling."

Top team on the FIFA standings, Brazil leaves the world cup with a defeat that could see coach Dunga ousted. He has already faced criticism over his defensive style despite victories in the Copa America (2007) and the Confederations Cup (2009).
 

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