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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 17:48 UK

World Cup 2010: Team talk inspired us - Sneijder

Netherlands celebrate beating Brazil

The Netherlands book a semi-final place with a 2-1 win over Brazil

Dutch match-winner Wesley Sneijder said a rousing half-time team talk inspired the Netherlands to knock out Brazil at the last-eight stage of the World Cup.

The Dutch came from behind to beat 10-man Brazil 2-1 as a Felipe Melo own goal cancelled out Robinho's opener, before Sneijder headed in the winner.

"In the changing room at half-time, everyone said to each other 'let's give everything'," said Sneijder.

"We pressured their defence and to score twice was fantastic."

Sneijder's header from a corner gave the Netherlands the lead on 68 minutes, but matters were made easier for them five minutes later when Melo received a red card for stamping on winger Arjen Robben.

The conclusion of the quarter-final was in contrast to the beginning where Brazil started at a furious pace, going close through Kaka and they had several other chances to add to their 10th-minute lead.


But Melo's header into his own net from a free-kick and then Sneijder's close-range finish from a Dirk Kuyt flick-on, put the Dutch in the driving seat and it was a lead they successfully held on to.

"We could have lost it in the first 15 minutes," Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said.

"At half-time, I made it very clear to the players. I told them time and time again, 'You have to play your own game. You have to have patience against Brazil.'

"When the [own goal] was scored, we just got better and better."

The victory for the Dutch was their first against Brazil since the 1974 World Cup when Johan Cruyff led them to a 2-0 win in the second round.

And Sneijder, 26, said: "It was an amazing game. I think we showed the whole world how we can play. Finally we won, we beat Brazil.

"This was my first header here, I don't think it will happen again, but it was great. The ball slipped on my bald head and went into the net, a great feeling.

"If you can eliminate Brazil, one of the best teams in this championship the first feeling is relief, we always believed in it.

"Brazil have a strong defence but nonetheless we scored two goals. We did a great job - just so happy going on to the semis, it's a moment to savour - from tomorrow we will concentrate on the semi-final."

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see also
Dunga ready to end Brazil reign
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup quarter-final photos
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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