Soccer News of Sat, 14 Jun 20148
Ruthless Robben, Persie humiliate Spain
World Cup holders Spain have been humbled, hammered, humiliated by a ruthless Dutch side in the Group B opener of Brazil 2014.
The Netherlands came from a goal down in the first half to rattle five goal past a tattered Spanish defence in the second half of a game that undoubtedly would cause Spain the greatest pain in their football history.
And it could have been more had Robben, Sneider converted several other chances that came their way.
The two teams possessed the ball with panache but it was the defending champions who were more aggressive in the opening embers. There was a lot to play for and with the 2010 final defeat in South Africa, the Netherlands had revenge on their minds.
Against the run-of-play, Wesley Snieder had only Casillas to beat in the quarter of an hour but somehow wasted the glorious opportunity. He was to rue that missed opportunity and he did few minutes later.
Spain got their noses in front from the spot after Diego Costa had been tripped in the vital area. Xabi Alonso stepped up and planted the ball beyond the reach of the Dutch goal keeper in the 27th minute.
The Dutch were still trying to find their rhythm and it looked more like it would be a repeat of the 2010 World Cup and not a revenge.
But the story changed in the 44th minute and it was in spectacular fashion. Van Persie was picked by an inch-perfect 20 yard cross from the left and with such a ball, the Manchester United man had all the time in the world to control with his chest and still beat Casillas but he chose the difficult option- he dived and dug his head into the oncoming cross and planted the ball over and above an oncoming Casillas who then stood ball watching as the ball dangled in the net for a breathtaking equaliser.
One all it ended in the first half and it was supposed to be game on in the second but it turned into a Friday afternoon walk in the park for the Dutch. Arjen Robben proved a tough customer for clueless Pique and Ramos and got a brace for his torments.
Seven minutes after the interval, the Bayern Munich attacker controlled the ball beautifully from mid-air, dummied Pique before firing past Casillas who was beaten with a slight deflection from Ramos.
And while the Spanish captain may be embarrassed the most for a shambolic outing by the team, he may perhaps be pardoned for the third goal that came after he was slightly impeded in the air by Van Persie. Stefan de Vrij benefitted from Persie's lunge into Casillas and nodded home a third on 64 minutes.
To crown an awful evening, not only for himself but his defence and the entire team, Casillas gifted Persie a brace and a fourth goal for the Dutch in a criminal first touch to a harmless back pass. With an empty goal post only a stretch away, Van Persie did just that by 'toeing' the ball into the net.
Arjen worsened a horrendous night for the tiki taka side when he tore the Spanish defence into shreds and left Casillas bowing, crawling with a chase but ended up picking the fifth ball from his net.
Torres had a one-on-one situation to at least console a sobbing side but on a night when Casillas huffed and puffed, Diego Costa and Iniesta flattered to deceive, the Chelsea man showed just why he did not deserve a place in the starting line- up by cheaply giving the ball away when all he needed to do was a simple tap in for an inconsequential, face saving goal.
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