Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie Score Two Goals Each During Holland’s 5-1 Trouncing of Spain (Videos)
No one expected this. That’s for sure.
Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scored two apiece and Stefan de Vrij added another as the Netherlands opened their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign by beating the defending champions, Spain, and avenging their defeat from the 2010 World Cup final in the process.
Things started out well for Spain, as Xabi Alonso capitalized on a penalty kick in the 27th minute after teammate Diego Costa was taken down in the box.
Here’s a look at the play that earned the penalty:
And here’s Xabi Alonso’s ensuing goal:
But Holland replied with this breathtaking golazo off the head of Robin van Persie just a few minutes before the end of the first half:
Following that display of brilliance from van Persie and Daley Blind, both teams headed to their respective locker rooms with the score tied, 1-1. At that point, some may have expected both teams to come out and play a conservative brand of football as they play for the tie—because a loss in the opening match is not a good way to kick off your tournament—but that was far from the case.
Just eight minutes into the second half, Arjen Robben scored his first of the tournament with some brilliant footwork:
And that’s when the floodgates opened.
Robben’s goal was followed by this goal from Stefan de Vrij:
And then it was time for both Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben to score their braces.
First came van Persie’s:
And here’s Robben’s second, which looked awfully similar to his first:
There you have it. Final score: Netherlands 5, Spain 1.
Most of us assumed Holland would provide Spain with a tough test in their World Cup opener, but I doubt anyone imagined this.
Nonetheless, it happened, and now it has Spain in “must-win” mode throughout the rest of the 2014 World Cup, while the Netherlands couldn’t have asked for a better start as they look to get back to the World Cup finals and get the victory that eluded them in 2010.