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The Selecao picked up an early lead via Robinho and Oranje have since been struggling to fight back...


Brazil appear to be on their way to the semi-finals of the World Cup after picking up an early lead against Netherlands and leading 1-0 at half-time.

The Netherlands sprung the first attack of the afternoon as Dirk Kuyt floated in a ball from the left in search of Robin Van Persie but there was no problem for the Brazil defence to smother this threat.

Brazil then appeared to open the score after only eight minutes of play when Luis Fabiano set up Robinho, who calmly slotted home. However, the linesman had his flag up and the goal was deservedly disallowed.

The Selecao then did pick up the lead in the 10th minute. Felipe Melo found Robinho with a superb pass through the centre of the pitch and the Santos star calmly placed the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg to make it 1-0 for Brazil.

Oranje immediately tried to level the score and came close via Dirk Kuyt. The Liverpool attacker cut inside from the right before unleashing a low shot, but Julio Cesar deflected it wide for a corner kick.


The South Americans continued to dominate play and could have doubled their lead halfway the first half. Dani Alves found Juan with a good cross from the right and the centre back didn't hesitate to unleash a powerful shot, which went only just over the bar.

Kaka then opted to test the Dutch goalie at the half hour mark with a placed shot from 20 yards out. Stekelenburg pulled off an excellent save to deny the Real Madrid star though.

The referee awarded Oranje a free kick in a dangerous position about ten minutes before the half-time whistle. Wesley Sneijder stepped up to take it, but his shot was too weak to trouble Julio Cesar.

Netherlands then did seem to trouble the Brazilian defence minutes before the interval after a good attack down the right via Wesley Sneijder and Gregory van der Wiel. However, the latter's cross as eventually cleared by the South Americans' defence.

Maicon then nearly made it two for Brazil in the dying seconds of the first half. However, his powerful shot after an impressive run down the right ended up in the side-netting.

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