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  • 4 June 2011
  • • 20:10
  • • Estádio do Governo do Estado de Goiás (Serra Dourada), Goiânia, Goiás
  • Referee: C. Amarilla

Brazil 0-0 Netherlands: Goalless in Goiania as titans play out friendly stalemate

Brazil 0-0 Netherlands: Goalless in Goiania as titans play out friendly stalemate

Neymar - Brasil x Holanda (Foto: Rafael Ribeiro/CBF)

There was no shortage of chances in South America tonight as two of the world's greatest national sides faced off, but neither team could find the net in 90 minutes

In a friendly match that was not short of chances – or world class talent – neither Brazil nor the Netherlands could find the net in an entertaining goalless draw in Goiania.

Robin van Persie failed to direct a free header for the Oranje, while Neymar and Robinho frequently went close for the hosts.

Van Persie led the attacking line from the off for the visitors, with support from Ibrahim Afellay and Arjen Robben, while Fred, Robinho and Neymar formed Mano Menezes' attacking triumvirate for the home side.

The opening minutes of the match were extremely tentative for both teams, neither side getting anywhere close to their opponents' box. A few testing long-balls were sent in from either end, but the only real moment of note in the first five minutes came when a meaty challenge from Nigel de Jong led to Ramires being stretched off.

Back on his feet after some light treatment, the Chelsea midfielder thought he had scored just as the ten minute mark passed. However, Robinho, who provided the assist, had been ruled offside as he received the ball from Elano.

The Oranje soon had a chance to go one up themselves, after a swift and slick counter-attack ended with Robin van Persie teeing up Ibrahim Afellay just six yards from goal. The Barcelona attacker knocked the ball on to his right foot, but Julio Cesar had his near post well covered and averted the shot.

Afellay appeared again on the half-hour mark, this time shooting from range. Again shooting with his right, the 25-year-old picked the ball up outside the box and tested Cesar again with a venomous drive. The Inter custodian produced a wonderful diving save this time to parry the Dutchman's goal-bound effort.

Soon after, Ramires replied with an almost carbon copy of Afellay's shot, but the South American's long-ranger sailed just wide of Tim Krul's top left corner and the game stayed at level pegging.

The last major effort of the first period came after wonderful cross swung in by Kevin Strootman found the head of an unmarked van Persie at the back post. The Arsenal striker failed to properly guide the ball towards the net though, and was left with his head in his hands after watching his effort go wide of the target.

Crowded out | Van Persie saw plenty of close attention from defenders

Brazil started the brighter of the sides after the restart, Neymar immediately testing Krul from close range. The Santos starlet latched onto a lovely through-ball from Elano, but took too long with his final touch, only releasing a weak shot that was well stopped by the keeper.

The Selecao stayed dominant after the early second-half surge, Neymar again the protagonist after sparking a speedy counter-attack. The final ball in came from the right foot of Dani Alves, but the Barca full-back's well-placed cross was dealt with well by John Heitinga, before Neymar could connect and finish the move.

Neymar continued to make a nuisance of himself for the next 20 minutes or so, providing a constant threat as he cut in from the left to test Krul over and over. Stifled by the young forward's inability to beat the Netherlands goalkeeper, skipper Lucio blasted one from long range, attempting to lead by example, but his shot was saved again by the on-form Krul.

It was all Brazil from that point on, and it looked like their persistence may have paid off midway through the second-half when Robinho's parried shot looked like it might creep over the line, but there was still no luck for the hosts as Joris Mathijsen managed to make a goal-line clearance.

A catalogue of changes were made as the game wore on, the most notable of which saw highly rated forward Leandro Damiao take to the pitch for Brazil, while Klass-Jan Huntelaar replaced van Persie at the opposite end.

Ramires then managed to earn himself a second booking for a poor challenge on Robben as the game wore on, which served to highlight the frustration of the home side's inability to capitalise on their chances.

Eljero Elia looked like he might snatch the win for the visitors in the dying minutes of the game, but a last ditch tackle from Lucio saw to it that the scoreline remained goalless as the referee blew the whistle for full-time.

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