Sensational Dutch dismantle Spain

by | Jun 13, 2014 20:51

A truly sensational second half performance earned Holland an incredible 5-1 win over defending World Cup champions Spain.

In what was the tournament’s first real heavyweight clash, the Spanish handed a start to Diego Costa, who controversially turned down the chance to play for Brazil, the country of his birth, in favour of La Roja.

Though Vicente Del Bosque's team started as favourites in this Group B clash, it was the Dutch who had the first clear chance of the encounter on seven minutes, and it should have been taken.

A truly sensational second half performance earned Holland an incredible 5-1 win over defending World Cup champions Spain.

In what was the tournament’s first real heavyweight clash, the Spanish handed a start to Diego Costa, who controversially turned down the chance to play for Brazil, the country of his birth, in favour of La Roja.

Though Vicente Del Bosque's team started as favourites in this Group B clash, it was the Dutch who had the first clear chance of the encounter on seven minutes, and it should have been taken.

A perfect through ball by Arjen Robben found its way to Wesley Schneider, who bore down on goal. His tame finish however was easily saved by Roja keeper Iker Casillas.

Predictably, it was Spain who quickly asserted their domination in terms of possession, but they were unable to fashion a clear cut opening in the opening 25 minutes. The Dutch, whose tactics against the same opposition in the 2010 final are now infamous, were putting in more robust challenges and holding firm defensively.

The breakthrough arrived not long after that. Costa, heavily involved throughout the opening stages, was played into space on the left. He was brought down by De Vrij and referee Nicola Rizzoli had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Real Madrid midfielder Alonso slammed home with assurance to give La Roja the lead.

They Dutch were almost two behind shortly before the break when David Silva’s dinked finish was saved by Jasper Cillessen, but a minute before the break they were level out of the blue. Van Persie lofted a superb header beyond Casillas to send the teams in level at the interval.

Eight minutes after the restart, the turnaround was complete as Van Persie this time turned provider. His angled ball found Robben, who controlled perfectly and kept his composure before firing home via a slight deflection off Sergio Ramos.

Van Gaal’s men were on fire now and it could have been three on the hour mark. Van Persie again found himself in acres of space in the Spanish penalty area. His stunning right-foot volley however smashed off the crossbar.

It did get even worse for La Roja though as, from a Dutch free-kick, Casillas was caught out and De Vrij bundled the ball over the line to put his team in dreamland. Casillas claimed furiously that Van Persie had fouled him, but Rizzoli waved away the appeals and booked the Roja captain for dissent.

The frantic pace of the match continued and shortly afterwards Spain had a goal disallowed after Silva was rightly flagged offside.

Unbelievably, Casillas’ and Van Persie’s nights then got even worse and better respectively when the Madrid goalkeeper miscontrolled a simple backpass, allowing the Manchester United forward to rob him of the ball and poke in his second goal of a magnificent individual display.

The demolition job continued when Robben got on the end of a searching through ball to completely outpace Ramos, before rounding the hapless Casillas and blasting home.

Substitute Georginio Wijnaldum and a sensational Robben volley almost made it six after yet another clinical counter-attack by Holland, who by the end looked like they could score at will.

Spain’s misery was compounded in added time when Torres, who was certain to score a tap-in consolation, inexplicably opted to take an extra touch and allowed the Dutch defence time to get back and make a challenge.

Spain 1 – 5 Holland

Alonso 27 p (S), Van Persie 45 & 72 (H), Robben 53 & 80 (H), De Vrij 64 (H)

Spain: Casillas; Azpilicueta, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Alonso (Pedro 73), Xavi; Silva (Fabregas 78), Iniesta, Costa (Torres 63)

Holland: Cillessen; Janmaat, Vlaar, de Vrij (Veltman 77), Martins Indi, Blind; de Jong, de Guzman (Wijnaldum 62), Sneijder; Robben, van Persie (Lens 79)

Referee: Rizzoli (Italy)

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