World

Netherlands leads host Brazil 2-0 at halftime of 3rd-place match at World Cup

  • Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar dives in an attempt to stop a shot by Netherlands' Robin van Persie, who scored his team's first goal on a penalty shot during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

    Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar dives in an attempt to stop a shot by Netherlands' Robin van Persie, who scored his team's first goal on a penalty shot during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Netherlands' Arjen Robben, front, is tripped by Brazil's Thiago Silva during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. The Netherlands scored on a penalty shot awarded for the incident. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Netherlands' Arjen Robben, front, is tripped by Brazil's Thiago Silva during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. The Netherlands scored on a penalty shot awarded for the incident. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Netherlands' Robin van Persie, right, celebrates with his teammate Dirk Kuyt after scoring his team's first goal on a penalty shot during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Netherlands' Robin van Persie, right, celebrates with his teammate Dirk Kuyt after scoring his team's first goal on a penalty shot during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

Robin van Persie and Daley Blind scored a goal each to give the Netherlands a 2-0 halftime lead over host Brazil in the third-place match at the World Cup on Saturday.

Van Persie converted a penalty kick three minutes into the match after Arjen Robben was brought down by Brazil captain Thiago Silva. Blind added to the lead in the 17th with a shot from near the penalty spot after defender David Luiz made a mistake while trying to clear a cross in front of the goal.

Brazil was coming off a devastating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals, while the Dutch lost to Argentina on penalties.

The Netherlands would finish the tournament unbeaten in regular play if it wins the third-place match.