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Tue. 7th July:
Brazil v. Holland
Brazil started slowly and a little messy in defence; the slow build-ups were failing with Roberto Carlos on the left.
On the quarter-hour, Ronaldo sprang into life on a one-two with Bebeto after a Ze Carlos throw in on the right; only to be blocked out by Cocu.
More attacks on the right; Zenden sliding the ball away from Ze Carlos, then fouling him less than a minute later.
Back over to the left, and Bebeto cringed in agony at the near-miss.
A Ze Carlos mistake gave Holland a chance to smell the goal again; Zenden's shot a waste.
Mario Zagallo seemed dozing in the dug-out, or deep in concentration, as both teams were still scoreless after twenty-five minutes of play.
Stam looked better than in his previous matches, and pulled the ball away from Bebeto. Holland moved the ball confidently forward, with Kluivert eventually heading over from Zenden's cross on the left. Half an hour gone.
Ze Carlos downed Zenden from the back and received a yellow card. Then a Roberto Carlos cross brushed past Bebeto's toe -- so near, and yet so far.
Holland built from the back once more, and sent Zenden down the left. Again the Dutchman got in a cross past Ze Carlos; the replacement for Cafu. Holland continued to try and penetrate the weak link around Ze Carlos.
Another Dutch break caught Brazil flat-footed waiting for the offside -- Kluivert's cross from the left chested back to Taffarel by Roberto Carlos, under pressure from Dennis Bergkamp.
Roberto Carlos is still to score one of his screaming free-kick that we all know he can; disappointing once more with a grass-skimmer straight at Van Der Sar, just before half-time. Kluivert headed onto the roof of the net at the other end as the referee pulled out his whistle. (Half-time: 0-0)
Twenty-one seconds after the restart, Ronaldo -- with Cocu on his shirt tail like a bridesmaid -- ran onto a long drive into the penalty area and slotted the ball under Van Der Sar.
Frank de Boer should have scored when the ball was headed down by Kluivert. Kluivert himself would sky his chance in front of an half-open goal.
Stam again proved solid when Rivaldo broke on the left; waiting for the right moment to stop the Brazilian advance and square to another Dutch defender.
A Ronaldo back-header, knocked into the penalty area by Bebeto, with Ronaldo there for the return; forcing Van Der Sar into a double save.
Kluivert headed wide from another Dutch corner on the 65th minute, then struck straight at Van Der Sar a few minutes later.
Holland were wide open looking for the equalizer, when Ronaldo stormed from the centre-circle with Davids in pursuit, but slipped the ball just wide of the right post; with Van Der Sar sprawling at his feet.
Brazil were still catching Holland on the counter. Rivaldo squared to Denilson, who tricked his way into the left edge of the area and returned to Rivaldo in the six-yard box. The Barcelona player was on the floor and couldn't release the ball from his legs for a proper shot.
Kluivert finally headed down perfectly to equalize for Holland in the 87th minute.
Another Ze Carlos mistake let in Kluivert near the end of normal time; Taffarel down easily to collect at his near post.
Into Extra time:
On Roberto Carlos' third break, Van Der Sar half cut out the cross. An overhead kick from Ronaldo, and headed away from a spectacular winner by Frank De Boer. Again Ronaldo ran across the area and forced Van Der Sar to make one of his most important saves of the tournament.
Kluivert ran on to a through ball on the left, with the Brazilian defence flat again, but fired his low shot wide, just before the end of the first period of extra-time.
Ronaldo made a burst on the right, cut inside with three Dutchmen around him, and tried to turn towards the goal -- Frank De Boer cleared through the striker's legs.
Roberto Carlos again came close, with a low shot that Van Der Sar needed two attempts to hold.
Last Dutch substition; Seedorf on for Jonk. Seedorf worked on the right with Ronald De Boer -- Ze Carlos coming good and heading away.
Attacks ebbed and flowed, players on both sides looked tired and in pain, and there was little power in their final shots.
Frank De Boer was outstanding, and then those terrible penalties. What a way to miss out on the final.
(Final Score: 1-1 aet)
Holland fail once more to get their hands on the trophy. Great match though ;-).
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