FIFA World Cup: Netherlands Rout Spain
Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scored twice each as the Netherlands avenged their 2010 World Cup final defeat to Spain with a record 5-1 drubbing of the defending champions on Friday.
It all started well for defending champions Spain with Xabi Alonso converting a 27th minute penalty. (All AFP and AP images)
But it went downhill fast after Robin van Persie tied the game with an unbelievable looping header shortly before half time. He later scored his second goal in the second half of the game.
Arjen Robben netted twice in the second half to give Netherlands the lead.
Defender Stefan de Vrij grabbed his first international goal in a humiliating defeat for a Spain team that has won its last three major tournaments. The final scoreline read Netherlands 5 Spain 1.
It was the worst loss for Spain in the game's showcase tournament since a 6-1 defeat to Brazil in 1950.
The victory was particularly sweet for Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal, who was criticized for his decision to play five defenders against Spain. He insisted the formation had attacking potential as well as nullifying Spain's fluent passing game.
Spain lost their first match in 2010, and they still have a good chance to get out of the group stage if they can defeat Chile and Australia.