By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Holland extracted sweet revenge for their defeat in the 2010 World Cup final with a 5-1 thrashing of reigning champions Spain at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. Two goals apiece from Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben helped deliver the damage as the Spaniards were blown away.
Holland showed their attacking intent from the off, with Robben missing a golden chance to give them the lead after only seven minutes. But keeper Iker Casillas made the save, and Spain enjoyed their one period of domination on an otherwise miserable afternoon.
Twice they threatened before taking the lead. Brazilian born Diego Costa fell under a challenge from De Vrij and the referee pointed to the spot, Xabi Alonso converting the chance.
The goal rejuvenated the Dutch, who equalized two minutes before the break. Blind’s diagonal ball found van Persie peeling off Sergio Ramos to score with a delightful diving header.
The second half was quite simply a massacre. Spain had absolutely no answer to a superior force. Blind was again the provider, this time for Robben who shot past Casillas to put Holland ahead for the first time in the contest. They never looked back.
On the hour mark, De Vrij bundled home from an inswinging Wesley Sneijder free-kick to make it 3-1. And a shocker from Casillas condemned Spain to their fate. His touch from a back-pass was far too sloppy, allowing van Persie to nip in, rob the ball and net the fourth. And Spain’s humiliation was not yet complete.
Robben plucked a long ball out of the air, beat Ramos for pace before cutting in to complete the rout and an unbelievable afternoon of football. Holland had waited four years for their revenge, and extracted it ruthlessly.
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