Spain 1 Netherlands 5 World Cup
Posted: 13 June 2014 Time: 23:16
Spain suffered one of the biggest defeats as defending World Cup champions on Friday night following a 5-1 drubbing by the Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.
Spain had taken the lead through a controversial penalty, but Robin van Persie’s goal just before the break provided the spark for an amazing second half comeback in which he completed his brace, while Arjen Robben also got two.
Vicente del Bosque opted to start with Diego Costa as his lone striker, but the move backfired as the Atletico Madrid man stumbled through the game.
He did, however, win the penalty on 27 minutes, though replays suggested there was minimal contact with Stefan de Vrij. Xabi Alonso converted from the spot.
Before that Spain dominated, though the Dutch came closest on eight minutes when the brilliant Robben played in Wesley Sneijder, but Iker Casillas stood tall to block his shot.
Spain almost increased their lead on 43 minutes when Andres Inietsa’s visionary pass played in David Silva, but Jasper Cillessen’s fingertip save pushed the ball wide.
After the break, it was Oranje wave after Oranje wave…
The Netherlands took the lead in the 53 minute through Robben, who produced a brilliant first touch to control a long ball from midfield before rounding Casillas to score.
Van Persie hit the woodwork with a rasping drive soon after, before De Vrij got revenge for the earlier penalty decision by heading home at the far-post, though it seemed as if Van Persie fouled Casillas in the process.
Spain correctly had a goal chalked off for offside soon after, before the Dutch got their fourth wenh the usually reliable Casillas produced a horror first touch from a backpass, allowing Van Persie to sneak in and score.
Sergio Ramos came close with a free-kick shortly afterwards, but Louis van Gaal’s men completed the rout 10 minutes from time as Robben showed great speed to outpace the defence, before outfoxing the keeper and slotting into an open net.
Spain’s night was summed up in injury time when Fernando Torres beat the keeper and looked set to score, but had the ball taken off his foot by Blind as he was about to pull the trigger.