Spain 1-5 Netherlands: Van Persie stars for the Dutch

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Louis van Gaal guided the Netherlands to a 5-1 victory over Spain in their opening game of the 2014 World Cup to gain some revenge for their final defeat in 2010.

Spain took the lead after 26 minutes. Diego Costa was tripped inside the box by Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar, and former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso converted the spot-kick for the defending champions.

Robin van Persie equalised with a superb effort on 44 minutes. The Netherlands’ left-back David Blind played a brilliant 45-yard crossfield pass to the Manchester United striker, who peeled off Gerard Pique and headed brilliantly over the on-rushing Iker Casillas into the empty net.

Arjen Robben put the Dutch 2-1 up after 53 minutes. Another great pass from Blind picked out the Bayern Munich winger, who sent Casillas the wrong way.

On 65 minutes, centre-back Stefan de Vrij bundled the ball into Spain’s net to make it 3-1 to the Netherlands. However, Casillas felt that he was fouled by Van Persie.

Casillas’ woes continued on 72 minutes when a shocking first touch allowed the United striker to tackle him and poke into the unguarded net, sending the Oranje into a shock 4-1 lead.

Robben put the icing on the cake for the Netherlands after 80 minutes when he outpaced Sergio Ramos, rounded Casillas, and fired into the empty net.

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