Dashing Dutch masters destroy sorry Spain

Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:32pm EDT
 
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By Neil Maidment

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) - Stunning goals from Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben fired the Netherlands to a 5-1 demolition of Spain who endured a miserable start to their World Cup defence in a pulsating Group B game on Friday.

In complete contrast to the tetchy World Cup final between the sides in 2010 which Spain won 1-0, the Dutch took sweet revenge with a vibrant display capped off by two goals each for Van Persie and Robben and one by defender Stefan de Vrij.

"I certainly didn't expect this result but I did expect us to score in the way we did," Dutch coach Louis van Gaal told reporters.

"Spain were always going to come at us and we catch them on the counter. My players did it perfectly. It's far better than we ever expected."

Only once before had Spain conceded five times in a World Cup game, on Brazilian turf in 1950 in a 6-1 loss to the hosts. The Dutch mauling at Salvador's Fonte Nova arena was also the worst ever start for defending world champions.

"I can't find words to explain five goals," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said.

"We have never been a very defensive side but always coped well defending. Today we've been very weak.

"We kept on fighting but they were physically stronger as the game went on and that made a difference... It is now a delicate situation for us which we will and try and overcome in our next game against Chile and then see what happens."   Continued...

 
Robin van Persie of the Netherlands (front) celebrates with teammate Arjen Robben after scoring the team's fourth goal against Spain during their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile