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On this day: Brazil see off Netherlands comeback

Twenty years ago today, Bebeto produced a memorable goal celebration as Brazil beat the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Earlier this week in this column, Sports Mole looked back on one of the Premier League's most memorable celebrations courtesy of former Newcastle United attacking midfielder Temuri Ketsbaia.

Yet, in terms of the World Cup, celebrations don't come more unforgettable than Bebeto, who 'Rocked the Baby' following his goal against the Netherlands in Dallas 20 years ago today.

The centre-forward arrived in the USA with a Brazilian side that had not had their hands on the famous trophy for some 24 years. Consequently, to end the drought, Carlos Alberto Parreira had abandoned some of Brazil's exuberance and flair in favour of determination and defensive tactics. Even so, in Bebeto and Romario, they had two speedy and tricky strikers that were capable of causing a headache to any rearguard.

It was a cagey opening 45 minutes inside the Cotton Bowl, but the game sprung into life just seven minutes after the restart when Bebeto broke free down the left flank to cross for his strike partner to fire a half-volley past Dutch goalkeeper Ed de Goey.

Then, 10 minutes later came the celebration that numerous players would mimic for years to come. Bebeto beat the Netherlands offside trap to round De Goey and roll the ball into an unguarded net. As his wife had delivered the couple's third child just days before this quarter-final, Bebeto made for the touchline, put his arms together and started to rock an imaginary baby. Teammates Romario and Mazinho joined him, making it one of football's most notable celebrations.

The smile would soon be wiped off Brazilian faces, though, as Holland responded. Within a minute of Bebeto's goal, future Arsenal centre-forward Dennis Bergkamp halved the deficit when he squeezed the ball in from a narrow angle.

It was a goal that reinvigorated the Dutch, who were level with 14 minutes left to play. An unmarked Aron Winter darted to the centre of the penalty area to meet Marc Overmars's corner and the midfielder was able to glance a header into the Brazilian net.

However, as extra time loomed, Brazil struck a decisive blow nine minutes from the end. Claudio Branco lined up a free kick 30 yards from goal and his low effort cannoned into the net via the upright, sending the South Americans through to the semi-finals in the process.

BRAZIL: Taffarel; Jorginho, Branco, Aldair, Santos; Dunga, Mazinho, Zinho, Silva; Bebeto, Romario

NETHERLANDS: De Goey; Koeman, Valckx, Rijkaard, Witschge; Wouters, Jonk, Winter, Overmars; Bergkamp, Van Vossen

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Paul Gascoigne celebrates scoring against Scotland for England on June 15, 1996.
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