For the first time in this most African of World Cups, Samba rhythm and Brazilian song drowned out the sound of the Vuvuzela, in was a reminder of how national passion should be expressed at the World Cup.
The song of the fans overcame the plastic drone for one night of glorious theatre in Nelson Mandela Bay.
What a show it was. Our SBS crew was seated smack bang on the halfway line, between the Samba chant and same wonderfully-attired Oranje fans.
When Felipe Melo’s incisive pass cut a path to Robinho, who did what he does best and score, the Dutch fell silent as a sea of yellow and green reverberated, totally consuming the occasion.
The mood was celebratory. After all, Under Dunga, Brazil had won all their games in which Robinho had scored.
The goal was the third quickest ever conceded by Holland in a World Cup match, destiny was calling.
Another sumptuous build up saw Kaka released. The number 10 sent his shot bending toward the top corner. Stekelenburg’s tremendous save you felt just delayed the inevitable.
Conferring with some Dutch media colleagues at half time, flights back to Holland were being discussed, despite their team’s unbeaten 23-match streak, the message was clear: Brazil simply had too much game.
So what happened in the second half? Was it part will, part football karma?
Sneijder’s cross needed only a moment of hesitation from the normally unflappable Julio Cesar, a deflection off Felipe Melo and the Dutch were level!
Brazil conceded its first ever World cup own goal and suddenly the Dutch started believing.
Wesley Sneijder headed in on 67 minutes and Brazilian fans for the first time contemplate they may be heading out.
Fast forward six minutes, and when Felipe Melo blew a gasket stamping his mark on the match and Arjen Robben, the sense of world cup fate swung dramatically to the Dutch.
How Brazil went from a first half that vindicated their pre-match arrogance to sliding out of the World Cup, raises more plenty more questions than Dunga will ever have answers for.
That’s for the post mortems, all I can reflect on is an exhilarating Quarter Final. It’s the kind of event that makes this the greatest show on Earth.
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Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all
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