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Friday 15 December 2017

Scolari hoping to keep job

Despite World Cup humiliation Big Phil aiming for Brazilian redemption in 2018

BRAZIL coach Luiz Felipe Scolari says he will find out in the coming days whether he will keep his job despite leading the country through a disastrous World Cup exit.

Brazil's tournament ended in a typically underwhelming fashion on Saturday as they were beaten 3-0 by Holland in the third-place play-off.

Five days earlier Scolari led the team to one of their most humiliating defeats in history - a 7-1 reverse to Brazil.

The home fans made their displeasure towards the coach and his players clear at the final whistle by booing them off the pitch.

But just as he did following the thrashing against Germany, Scolari did not resign.

When asked whether he thought he remained the right man for the job, Scolari said in his post-match press conference: "That has to be decided by the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation.

"We agreed before this tournament that we would give our positions at the end of the World Cup.

Report

"I will finish my report and the president and the board will analyse it and do as they wish."

The match started in the worst possible way for the hosts, who went behind within three minutes thanks to Robin van Persie's penalty, and Georginio Wijnaldum wrapped up the latest humiliating defeat for Brazil in injury time.

With 87 seconds on the clock Van Persie played Robben in behind the Brazil defence and Silva pulled the winger back, sending him tumbling to the floor.

The foul took place two metres outside the box, but referee Djamel Haimoudi pointed to the spot.

Much to the shock of the Holland team, the Algerian official only produced a yellow card even though the Brazil captain was the last man.

Van Persie took the ball and beat Julio Cesar. A stunned silence descended upon the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.

Dismay turned to anger soon after as Holland doubled their lead thanks to some comic defending by David Luiz. Luiz, who had a shocker against Germany, put on another masterclass in how not to defend in Brasilia.

The defender headed the ball back into the six-yard box, rather than concede a corner after a cross by Jonathan de Guzman.

The ball dropped straight to Daley Blind, who took one touch and lashed the ball past Julio Cesar to register his first international goal.

Oscar looked to be Brazil's only hope of pulling a goal back.

The Chelsea midfielder tested Jasper Cillessen, but then let himself down by diving to win a free-kick, which Jo wasted by heading over.

When the half-time whistle came, the home fans booed loudly.

Scolari replaced Luis Gustavo with Fernandinho. Within nine minutes of his introduction he was booked for a late tackle on Van Persie, who was left clutching his knee on the turf.

Another sub, Hernanes, slid in on Robben, but he escaped a booking.

The Algerian referee was at the centre of controversy again in the 67th minute when he booked Oscar for diving. Replays showed Blind had actually taken the Chelsea man out in the box. Indeed the clash of knees was so strong between the two players that Blind was carried off on a stretcher.

Penalty

Van Gaal then thought his team should have had a penalty when Robben went down in the box under pressure from Fernandinho, but nothing was given.

The boos started five minutes from time as Brazil could not get the ball off the Dutch.

And when Wijnaldum turned home Darryl Janmaat's cross in injury time the jeers become louder.

It was the first time that Brazil had suffered consecutive home defeats since 1940.

But Scolari was not unhappy with his team's performance and he denied the whole tournament had been a disaster for the host nation.

"Losing 7-1 was the worst result in history but I have to see the positive side of things," Scolari added.

"In 2006 we didn't finish in the final four and neither did we in 2010.

"In a year-and-a-half we have reached the last four of the World Cup and we have won the Confederations Cup.

"We have to be optimistic. Today I don't think it was a bad match. There is nothing I can criticise the players for.

"We played this match reasonably well. The players leave with my trust and happiness.

"If we continue the work then the path is open for a team that will be much better for 2018."

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