53 – Wesley Sneijder: Netherlands v Brazil 2010 – 90 World Cup Minutes In 90 Days

WFI‘s Adam Brandon counts down to Russia 2018 with 90 World Cup goals in 90 days, scored in the minute corresponding to the day in the countdown.


Netherlands, having failed to qualify in 2002 and only reaching the second round in 2006, were looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1998.

Standing in their way were Brazil who beat them in that semi-final of France ’98. Brazil and Netherlands were in good form heading into the tournament and both teams reached this stage comfortably by winning their groups and second round matches.

Brazil started the better of the two sides. Robinho had a goal disallowed before Felipe Melo threaded a ball through the middle of the Dutch midfield and defence for Robinho to finally make it 1-0.

Brazil had chances to go further ahead but a mix of poor finishing and good goalkeeping denied them.


The Goal

Early on in the second half, the Netherlands pressed for an equaliser and Wesley Sneijder received the ball 25 yards from goal and curled a wonderful ball into the danger area and into the goal, perhaps via a deflection off Felipe Melo.


What Happened Next?

The goal completely changed the game. Minutes later, Sneijder took advantage of poor marking from a flicked Robben corner to head home his and his team’s second.

Brazil tried to respond, but were hampered by Dunga’s tactics and then Melo received his marching orders for a stupid stamp on Robben. Netherlands hung on to meet Uruguay in the semi-finals. They beat the South Americans 3-2 but lost in extra-time to an Andrés Iniesta goal in the final against Spain.

The Netherlands have failed to qualify for Russia 2018 and Wesley Sneijder has now retired from international football. No player has won more caps for Holland.

Dunga stood down as manager after this defeat, but incredibly would find himself manager of Brazil again between 2014 and 2016.