The reigning world champions were beaten, as far as the football went,
but still had time to surrender what was left of their dignity.
Their willingness to dish out fouls
was not matched by their ability to take punishment in return:
every time a Dutchman committed an offence, a Brazilian crashed to earth
and rolled about until play moved on, when he quickly recovered.
For those who had witnessed the joyful, carefree Brazil team of 1970,
this game ended up a truly dispiriting spectacle.
Valdomiro stamped at Krol, then Rivelino
(not exactly a pale shadow of the player he'd been in 1970, more a dark shadow)
clattered Cruyff, and was in turn fouled by Rep, who was cautioned.
Valdomiro had another nibble at Krol's ankles.
A clever pass by De Jong, quickly adjusting to the pace and temperature of the game,
found Rep running at goals, to be taken out again by Marinho Peres.
Suurbier fouled Marinho Chagas from behind, and was studded in the face by the Brazilian
full-back for his pains:
during the ensuing melée, Neeskens (inevitably!) was kicked to the ground by Valdomiro,
with the referee of course unsighted.
Cruyff set off on another through run, Peres couldn't even get near enough to foul him,
but Paulo César Carpegiani brought him down instead, with the ball 30 yards away.
Rivelino had now pretty much lost any vestige of self-control he ever had,
and launched himself through the air at Cruyff, who prudently jumped out of the way,
but Neeskens, following in, challenged the Brazilian along the ground,
and was promptly flattened.
A spate of foul and counter-foul outside the Dutch penalty area
ended with Rivelino bouncing off Haan, and throwing himself to the ground.
Of course, he won a free-kick, but blazed it just wide of the goal,
though Jongbloed would probably tell you he had it covered.
Luís Pereira finally managed to get himself sent off,
for an alehouse challenge on Neeskens, waist-high, studs first,
and so late it might have been early for next time.
Pereira stood around for a long time before he could be persuaded to quit the field,
pausing even then for a slanging match with the Dutch supporters and the bench.
Once he saw Israël was getting stripped for action though,
he decided to get down the tunnel quickly!
Neeskens would take no further part in the game,
and Michels brought on another defender to see out the last few minutes.
Sadly, this would be Israël's last international appearance.
The contest wasn't quite over.
Marinho Chagas flicked the ball over the defence, and Jongbloed, hitherto confidence itself,
fumbled nervously as he tried to collect the ball.
Chagas writhed in agony for a while after the "challenge", but the referee was not impressed.
Israël, always keen to make a new friend, found Mirandinha keener on talking to him
than he was on playing football:
a contemptuous shrug of the Dutchman's broad shoulders was all he got for his efforts
at provoking a confrontation.
With the game increasingly confused,
Brazil had Wilson Piazza warming up for the last few minutes,
but it doesn't appear he got on the field, Holland's possession football ensuring the
ball didn't go out of play for long intervals.
In the dying minutes, Jairzinho even managed to foul the utterly inoffensive Jongbloed,
hacking the goalkeeper's ankles as he ambled out to clear another speculative through ball.
The crowd, strongly pro-Holland of course,
were so incensed after this one they refused to return the ball,
even when Cruyff intervened, and another had to be found.
At this point, the referee decided to blow the whistle.
There were few handshakes as the players trooped off.
This had been an intense, passionate, pivotal game,
with, it seemed, the old world order swept away by the new,
the favourite team of the previous generation turned sour and being blown away by the
exciting champions of my own experience. Or so it seemed at the time.
Brazil would of course recover in time, to be a brilliant, spectacular and, above all, loved
team again, but I could never think of them in quite the same way after this game.