Brazil employed some fine finishing to beat Chile 3-0 in their knockout round clash, setting up a quarterfinal blockbuster against the Netherlands, who scored a goal either side of halftime to beat Slovakia 2-1.
Brazil found their feet late in the first half
Brazil beat fellow South Americans Chile 3-0 in their World Cup knockout round clash at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Monday. The world's top-ranked team now faces the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
The Selecao got off to a slow start, finding it hard to make passes stick. It wasn’t until the 34th minute that Brazil found a breakthrough.
After winning a corner on the right, Maicon swung the ball into the box to find the head of defender Juan, who rose highest to produce an unstoppable header that flew in just under the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Brazil scored their second with a swift counter-attacking maneuver down the left flank. Robinho squared the ball to Kaka, who received it just outside the box and fed it, via a short through-ball, to Luis Fabiano, who rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into an empty net.
Both Chile and Brazil got the second half underway at a much swifter pace than the first.
It took only 14 minutes for Dunga’s men to find a third goal through Robinho, who received the ball on the edge of the penalty area from Ramires after the midfielder brought it upfield. Robinho hit a powerful, yet well-placed shot to beat Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo high and to his right.
The Dutch closed the match up in the second half
In Monday's afternoon knockout game, the Netherlands defeated Slovakia 2-1 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Fit-again winger Arjen Robben bagged the first goal for the Dutch with a stunning strike from the edge of the goal box in the 18th minute.
Slovakia were hit on counter-attack when Nigel de Jong hit a long ball upfield to Robben, who charged towards the box on the right, turned infield, and fired a low shot just inside the near post, beating out-stretched Slovak goalie Jan Mucha.
Robben, who plays his club football with Bayern Munich in Germany, came into the starting line-up in place of injured midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, who has complained of a calf problem in recent days.
The Slovaks came alive midway through the second half, but the Dutch absorbed the pressure and went on to close out the game in the 83rd minute thanks to a neat finish from Wesley Sneijder.
After a quickly taken free kick from the halfway line, Dirk Kuyt beat an onrushing Mucha to the ball and unselfishly cut it back for Sneijder, who coolly slotted home.
Slovakia were awarded a consolation penalty deep in injury time when Martin Jakubko was brought down in the box by Stekelenburg. With the last kick of the game, Vittek sent Stekelenburg the wrong way, passing the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Author: Darren Mara
Editor: Rob Turner