Redemption, pride, salvation were some of the words thrown out by Brazil and their players as they went into the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place playoff against the Netherlands desperate to make up in any way possible for that horror defeat to Germany in the semifinal earlier this week.
However, when you have a defence more porous than a sand castle in a thunderstorm, coupled with an opponent with a seriously mean defence, there really can only be one result – with redemption, pride and salvation having to wait for another day, more like another four years.
Netherlands made merry against this ridiculously unstable Brazil defence, scoring two early goals, via Robin Van Persie, from the penalty spot, after Arjen Robben had been pulled back by Thiago Silva, who was extremely lucky not to see red after just three minutes, and Daley Blind and one late on, courtesy Georginio Wijnaldum, to easy-as-pie clinch that nobody-really-cares-especially-Louis-Van-Gaal consolation third place at this World Cup.
It was not as bad as the 7-1 drubbing by Germany, but Brazil yet again showed they are nowhere near world class, with Holland quite comfortably holding off their opponents to end their could-have-been-so-much-better World Cup with a 3-0 win in Brasilia.
Despite making his feelings clear of having to play this match, Van Gaal resisted the temptation to make too many changes to the side, sticking to his tried and tested lineup, while Luiz Felipe Scolari also went with plenty of familiar names even if the likes of Hulk, Fernandinho, Fred, finally, and Marcelo dropped to the bench.
It did not take too long for Brazil to show their defensive fallibilities again, with Silva, the man the hosts missed so dearly in the semifinal, deciding to join the kamikaze ranks.
Van Persie, who played a lot better than he has done in any of the knockout rounds so far, played in a through ball for Arjen Robben, with the Dutch speedster running clear on goal only for Silva to drag him down.
It was a clear as day red card, but not a penalty, with the referee, instead, deciding to award the spotkick and only show Silva a yellow card. Van Persie stepped up and slammed the ball into the roof of the net for his first goal since the second game of the group stages.
Brazil did look to hit back immediately with Oscar looking bright in the playmaking role, but Netherlands do have one of the best defences at this World Cup for a reason, and Ron Vlaar and co. repelled most of those attacks with goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen having very little to do in the first half.
Without much ado, Holland were 2-0 up on 17 minutes with Robben, the best player at the World Cup according to Brazil coach Scolari at the forefront of the move again. The forward picked up the ball in a dangerous area, and instead of making that searing the-Brazil-defence-starts-to-worry run, played in Jonathan De Guzman, a late inclusion after Wesley Sneijder injured his hamstring at the warm-ups.
The midfielder lobbed in a nice cross from the right, which David why-on-earthy-would-you-pay-£50million-for-him Luiz, when all he had to do was head it out for a corner, decided to guide straight to Daley Blind, who took a couple of touches 13 yards out before stroking the ball into a virtually empty net.
The closest Brazil came to scoring was when Oscar's freekick was headed on by Luiz Gustavo at the near post, with Paulinho and Luiz missing the chance to tap-in by inches, but the signs were easy to read – something needed to change for this Brazil team to salvage something from this game.
The home side did crank up the pressure in the second 45, but the Netherlands were just too good for them in defence really. Things might have changed, though, had Brazil been awarded a penalty, with the team in yellow seeing a couple of shouts turned down by Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi.
First was for a handball on Vlaar, which would have been harsh, but the second penalty shout is what Brazil will feel aggrieved about. Oscar made a run into the box and went down under the challenge of Blind, with the entire stadium screaming for a penalty. The referee, instead showed a yellow card to Oscar for diving, even if replays showed there was contact, with the two players clashing knees.
Blind had to be taken off after that challenge with Daryl Janmaat coming on for the final 20 minutes or so, and crossing for Wijnaldum to slot home in the first minute of stoppage time to hand Brazil their second straight defeat at home for the first time in 74 years.
It is also goodbye for Van Gaal, who got the best, and then some, out of this Dutch side, and Manchester United fans will certainly be hoping the manager brings a little bit of that magic dust when he takes over at Old Trafford.