BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal is trying to motivate his players for the third-place match against Brazil by giving them the mission of becoming the only Dutch squad to finish a World Cup unbeaten in regular play.
After being eliminated by Argentina on penalties, the Netherlands has the chance of ending the tournament without a loss in seven matches. The Dutch won its first four games, then drew Costa Rica 0-0 in the quarters and Argentina 0-0 in the semis.
Van Gaal had been saying the third-place game was pointless and he would rather not play it, but "we are realizing that there is something else we need to defend and we have to go for it. Never a Dutch team returned home unbeaten, and that has to be the next target."