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Dutch down hosts

Deserved bronze for Robben

In-form Arjen Robben again led the way as the Netherlands claimed the bronze medal at the World Cup in Brazil. Louis van Gaal’s team defeated the hosts 3–0 in Brasilia, winning Saturday’s third-place play-off comfortably enough by the end. Robin van Persie opened the scoring in the third minute after Robben had been awarded a penalty, before Daley Blind doubled the advantage in the 17th minute. Georginio Wijnaldum wrapped it up for the men in orange in the first minute of time added on.

“All credit to the team,” said Man of the Match Robben, although the Bayern player of the season was only partly consoled by the third-place finish. “Basically we deserved to make the final, especially when you see the performance the lads have put in today.” Nevertheless, Arjen thinks a young Dutch side can be pleased with their stay in Brazil: “We've finished third in the world and no-one expected that.” The winger departs Brazil with his head held high: “I'm really proud of the lads.”

Dante, who spent the 90 minutes watching from the Brazil dugout, was understandably downcast. “I have a three-week vacation now. I'm going to go to my family because I miss them. I need to recover, mentally and physically,” the centre-back said afterwards. “I'm very, very disappointed, and sad about the tournament as a whole. But I've learned a lot: you always have to be very, very focused in this game,” reflected the 30-year-old. “The match against Germany was tough, but I'm convinced I'll come back stronger than I was before.”