When it was all over, it was the Netherlands receiving a standing ovation from the Brazilian crowd. Brazil walked off the field to boos, after another demoralizing loss to end its home World Cup.

The Netherlands' remarkable campaign ended on a high note after Robin van Persie and Daley Blind scored early goals to help give the team a 3-0 win over Brazil in the third-place game Saturday in Brasilia.

"We can look back at a very successful tournament," Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal said. "I'm proud of my players."

The Netherlands finishes a World Cup unbeaten in regular play for the first time, having lost to Argentina on penalties in the semifinals. After finishing runner-up in 2010, the third place is the best position for the Dutch squad since it lost the final in 1974 and 1978.

The Brazilian fans loudly greeted the Dutch players after they received the third-place medals, applauding on their feet.

"I would like to thank all people in Brazil for their great support," Arjen Robben said. "For us it was the best way to end this tournament."

The loss added to Brazil's frustration at the home tournament after the disastrous 7-1 defeat to Germany. After the final whistle, the team was loudly booed by the nearly 70,000 fans who attended the match at the National Stadium. Many had already left even before the late third goal by the Dutch. It's the first time since 1940 that Brazil lost two consecutive competitive games on home soil.


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"It's a terrible feeling, I don't know what to say," Oscar said. "After a huge loss to Germany, today we tried our best from the beginning to win third place, but it wasn't our day."

Brazil conceding 14 goals in the tournament, the most ever for the team. The previous worst had been 11 goals in the 1938 World Cup.

"It was supposed to be an even match, but after the early goal things started going their way," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "I don't think we played that bad. The players fought hard from the start. They created chances, so it's difficult to lose 3-0."

Brazil looked lost from the start, making many of the same defensive mistakes that marked the historic defeat to the Germans four days ago. The Netherlands took advantage with quick passes and speed in the attack.

"It's frustrating," Brazil captain Thiago Silva said. "We didn't deserve to have it end like this. But unfortunately it's football. I have to apologize to our people. The fans supported us even during the 7-1 loss and again today. They booed in the end, but it was normal. They have feelings too."

Scolari declined to make a decision on his future, saying it will be up to the Brazilian football confederation to decide whether he will continue as Brazil's coach.

Russia up next: The conflict in Ukraine will not affect the 2018 World Cup, Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko said. Mutko, the local organizing committee chairman and a FIFA board member, said he did not foresee "any major issues" for the tournament in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to attend Sunday's World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro and take part in a hand-over ceremony between host nations with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Brazil's Foreign Ministry later said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has confirmed he will watch the match between Argentina and Germany with Putin and other world leaders.

James arrives: Just a few hours after arriving in Brazil, LeBron James sized up the World Cup final and said it trumps the NBA Finals.

"This is the highest you can get," James said. "This is bigger than the NBA Finals in the sense that it's the world and you have so many countries here."

James walked around with new Cavaliers teammate Anderson Varejao, a Brazilian. James will attend Sunday's final but declined to pick a winner.