The results of the semifinals matchups couldn't have been any different for the two losing teams.
Brazil were downed by Germany 7-1 in a game that can only be described as embarrassing for the host country. The Germans dominated the match from start to finish, resulting in one of the worst losses in Brazil's history.
The other result was almost the complete opposite. After both the Netherlands and Argentina were held scoreless through extra time, the Argentinians took the match 4-2 after penalty kicks.
Now Brazil and the Netherlands will square off in the third-place game ahead of the 2014 World Cup final. Below you'll find the game's start time and all the viewing info you need to keep up with the action.
|Date||Time (ET)||Matchup||Watch||Live Stream|
|July 12||4 p.m.||Brazil vs. Netherlands||ESPN||WatchESPN|
Brazil's loss against Germany was truly devastating. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari knows that the loss has hurt his team's confidence, but he told The Associated Press that his players must focus on the third-place game, via The Score:
Life goes on, we need to look forward to our next goal, and our next goal is to win the match for third place. We have to play it. It has become our main goal.
The players' lives won't end because of this loss. It happened and from now on they will continue being the players that they are. They will continue playing for Brazil and we will continue to be one of the best teams in the world. Probably many of these players will play for Brazil in 2018.
Which Brazil team will show up, however? It was clear that Thiago Silva's absence against Germany was detrimental to the team's overall success. The Germans found far too much open space on the attack.
Silva isn't banned for the match against the Netherlands, though, so the number of opportunities should decrease in theory. Brazil have won 21 matches and lost none when David Luiz and Silva start together, per Jack Lang of ESPNFC. That bodes well for them in the next match.
The Netherlands are a strong side that won't fold after losing a heartbreaker against Argentina—even if coach Louis van Gaal doesn't love the idea of a third-place game:
Van Gaal on third place play-off: "This match should never be played". The whole of Brazil says Amen. http://t.co/BacYTgySsw— John Carlin (@JohnCarlin5) July 10, 2014
His views on the game are understandable. The Netherlands are likely crushed over the fact that they lost in the final in 2010 to Spain and now don't have the opportunity to avenge that loss. Plus, as The Associated Press writes (via Fox Sports), Van Gaal has never loved the idea of the third-place game:
Having lost the World Cup final four years ago, the Netherlands attitude is understandable. And although Van Gaal has been campaigning for a decade to get the game scrapped, the Dutch must honor the commitment.
But while the Netherlands players aren't really interested, the Brazil squad sees the game as an immediate opportunity for redemption following a 7-1 humiliation by Germany in the semifinals.
Given the lack of care that the Netherlands appear to be giving to this contest, it's hard not to side with Brazil. The fact that Silva will be playing also means that the host country will get a much-needed lift.
It will be a good match, but one that Brazil will ultimately win.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR