Champions decimated as Oranje soar

The Dutch have shocked the Spanish in Salvador, smashing them 5-1 in a second half rout. The first half began as one may have expected, the Spaniards able to control possession and pass incredibly well. David Silva and Andres Iniesta were giving the Dutch lots of trouble with some great balls played in for Diego Costa, but some great Dutch defence held them out to start. In the 26th minute, though, the match turned in the Spaniards favour, Costa being fouled in the area by Stefan de Vrij. Xabi Alonso put the resulting penalty past Jasper Cillesen, and it appeared business as usual for the reigning champions. This was not the case. The Dutch responded to the Spanish goal by starting to win back some control over the game, although their chances did not have the edge required to pass Iker Casillas. Cillesen seemed to have the most work of the two keepers, needing to save a chip shot in a one-on-one situation to deny Silva, although just a minute later the game changed remarkably. Daley Blind took the ball and launched a cross from just past halfway, finding the run of Robin van Persie, whose resultant diving header passed Casillas easily and sent the Dutch level just before the break.

Iniesta had an early chance for the Spanish after the break, forcing a diving save from Cillesen. Three minutes later the Dutch took the lead through Arjen Robben, who had been a constant threat in the first half. Robben was able to work his way around Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique and fire past Casillas after receiving the ball inside the box. The Dutch went agonisingly close to a third 7 minutes later, van Persie hitting the bar after some excellent lead-up work from Robben and Daryl Janmaat. It didn’t matter, however, as de Vrij nodded home a free kick to score his first ever international goal and to put the Oranje up 3-1. Things just kept getting worse for the champions, with Silva having a goal disallowed for offside after he bundled in the rebound of Pedro’s header. 4 minutes after that Robin van Persie made a successful challenge on Casillas inside the area, leaving him with no keeper to beat and a certain second goal. Playing for pride, the Spaniards did not have the power to deny the brilliant Robben a second. Robben left Casillas, who had committed early, floundering on the ground while he passed two desperate defenders trying to fill in for their keeper. The Dutch pushed very hard for a sixth goal, Georginio Wijnaldum and Robben forcing remarkable saves from the Spanish captain, who added some respectability to his performance with the great blocks. Spain’s night ended with another missed opportunity, Fernando Torres brilliantly prevented from scoring into an open goal by a desperate Dutch defender, leaving Spain with their tails between their legs after being completely routed by a brilliant Dutch team.

Salvador – Arena Fonte Nova
Spain 1 (Alonso 27 pen)
Netherlands 5 (van Persie 44, 72, Robben 53, 80, de Vrij 64)
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Ita)

Spain: Casillas – Alba, Ramos, Pique, Azpilicueta, Alonso (Pedro 62), Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Costa (Torres 62), Silva (Fabregas 78).

Netherlands: Cillesen – Martins Indi, de Vrij (Veltman 77), Vlaar, Blind, de Jong, de Guzman (Wijnaldum 62), Janmaat, Robben, Sneijder, van Persie (Lens 79).

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