Spain 1 Netherlands 5 – Van Persie and Robben tear champions apart
Holland come from behind to thrash Spain and demonstrate their World Cup credentials
June 13th, 2014
The 2014 World Cup came alive on Friday evening as the Netherlands recovered from falling behind against Spain to produce an outstanding second half performance.
With a couple of minutes left before the interval, Robin van Persie got on the end of a long ball to provide a looping header over Iker Casillas, thus bring the scoreline level at 1-1 although nobody could have predicted what would happen in the next 45 minutes of football.
Arjen Robben danced past Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique to put his team ahead in the 53rd minute, while the Dutch winger would also score the last goal of the game when racing the length of the pitch before unloading an unstoppable shot.
In between, Stefan de Vrij scored from a corner after Casillas flapped at the ball, with Van Persie taking advantage of a goalkeeper mistake to make it 4-1 to the Netherlands.
Spain were left licking their wounds, having taken the lead in the 27th minute when Xabi Alonso converted a spot kick following a foul on Diego Costa, with the forward getting away with a headbutt in the second half when things weren’t going the way of the Spanish.
It makes for a fascinating Group B with Spain having to potentially secure maximum points against Chile and Australia for a last sixteen spot, with Brazil lying in wait for the runner-up of Group B.
Vicente del Bosque will have to consider whether to field a similar XI for the next game or opt for a different team which might feature the likes of Pedro and David de Gea.