Woeful Spain cooked in a Dutch oven

23:01, Jun 14 2014
Fred dive
Another view of the controversy foul on Fred.
Fred dive
Fred goes down. The call was Croatia's Dejan Lovren fouled him, and the resultant penalty put Brazil up 2-1 and turned the match.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring a goal from a penalty kick from the Fred foul.
Brazil v Croatia
Croatia's goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa fails to save the penalty.
Brazil v Croatia
Ivan Perisic of Croatia celebrates going 1-0 up as Brazil's Marcelo gets a deflection into the net for an own goal.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Marcelo opens the scoring for the tournament - unfortunately it was an own goal.
Neymar
Neymar, second from left, celebrates with Dani Alves and Fred after his first goal.
Neymar
Hero of the day Neymar celebrates his first goal.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos is irate after a goal is disallowed for the second time against Cameroon.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos finds the back of the net, only for the goal to be disallowed.
Oribe Peralta
Mexico's Oribe Peralta heads the ball down under attention from Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou.
Miguel Herrara
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera appeals to the fourth official Norbert Hauata after their first goal is disallowed.
Alex Song
Cameroon's Alex Song holds off Mexico's Jose Juan Vazquez.
Oribe Peralta
Oribe Peralta 61st-minute shot off a rebound proved the difference against Cameroon.
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil beats Javier Hernandez of Mexico during their World Cup clash at Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Rafael Marquez, left, fights for the ball with Brazil's David Luiz during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match.
Francisco Rodriguez
Brazil's Neymar holds the net after a failed attempt at the goal, as Mexico's Francisco Rodriguez smiles, during their World Cup football clash.
Paul Aguilar
Brazil's Neymar (right) fights for the ball with Mexico's Paul Aguilar during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Neymar
Brazil's Neymar reacts during his side's 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mexico gallery
Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa receives a hug from teammate Paul Aguilar at the end of his side's 0-0 draw with Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Group A match against Cameroon at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Dany Nounkeu
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (left) fights for the ball with Cameroon's Dany Nounkeu during their World Cup Group A football clash.
Ivan Perisic
Ivan Perisic of Croatia (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal against Cameroon.
Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren of Croatia challenges Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon during their World Cup clash at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Alexandre Song
Referee Pedro Proenca of Portugal sends off Cameroon's Alexandre Song for a challenge on Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (on ground) during their World Cup match.
Benjamin Moukandjo
Benjamin Moukandjo of Cameroon controls the ball against Danijel Pranjic of Croatia during their Group A World Cup clash.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Julio Cesar (far left), Fernandinho and Luiz Gustavo of Brazil react after defeating Cameroon 4-1 during their Group A match against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Julio Cesar
Brazil's Fernandinho (right) shoots to score past Cameroon's Nicolas Nkoulou.
Fred
Brazil's Fred (right) celebrates his goal against Cameroon with teammates Neymar (second right) and Daniel Alves (left).
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil (left) celebrates his team's third goal, scored by Fred, during the Group A World Cup clash between Cameroon and Brazil at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Ante Rebic
Ante Rebic of Croatia walks off the pitch after receiving a red card during his side's loss to Mexico at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.
Andres Guardado
Mexico's Andres Guardado (top) jumps over Croatia's Danijel Pranjic during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife.
Ravshan Irmatov
Referee Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan stands between Mexico's Andres Guardado (left) and Croatia's Darijo Srna during their World Cup Group A football match at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Niko Kovac
Croatia's coach Niko Kovac speaks with Mario Mandzukic after being defeated by Mexico.
Javier Hernandez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring a goal against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates teammate Rafael Marquez's goal against Croatia during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife June 23, 2014.

The Netherlands have thrashed the world champions 5-1 in the World Cup's first shocker, toying with an ageing Spanish team that has dominated global football for the past six years and avenging a loss in the 2010 final.

Although Spain could still advance out of the group stage, the game may have signalled the end of the run by a generation of Spanish stars whose quick passing, "tiki-taka" style delighted the world and helped them win the last three major tournaments.

Dutch strikers Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben both scored twice, including van Persie's diving header off of an audacious 40-yard pass.

The ball looped over hapless Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas as van Persie slid on his stomach on the wet grass before running to the sidelines with his fists clenched to celebrate what is sure to be one of the goals of the tournament.

Defender Stefan de Vrij also scored - his first international goal - in a dominating second half that had the orange-clad Dutch fans in Arena Fonte Nova on their feet the whole time.

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 criticised for his decision to play five defenders. He insisted the formation had attacking potential as well as nullifying Spain's fluent passing game.

It did. And then some.

Spain's ball-control offence usually has other teams frustratingly trying to gain possession. This time, the Dutch fans were roaring "Ole" as their team passed the ball around and Spain chased them.

Spain lost its first match in South Africa four years ago on its way to the title, and it could salvage tournament hopes with wins against Chile and Australia.

Van Persie credited Van Gaal's tactics of defending hard and firing long passes to Robben and himself.

"We trained that way. And this is definitely down to him," the Manchester United striker said of the coach who will take over at his club next season.

"If you see how he prepared us, and how he predicted the game would go, and you see how it went - unbelievable."

Van Gaal, in turn, highlighted his forwards' performances.

"With strikers like van Persie, Robben and Sneijder behind them, things like this can happen," the coach said.

It all started so well for Spain, with Xabi Alonso converting a 27th minute penalty. But it went downhill fast after van Persie tied the game with a header shortly before half time. He connected with a perfectly weighted long pass by Daley Blind, one of a new generation of Dutch defenders flourishing under Van Gaal.

"Unbelievable," van Persie said. "For the whole Netherlands, this is a dream come true."

Spain, which won the 2010 final thanks to an Andres Iniesta extra-time goal, exerted most of the pressure in the first half of the rematch. But they had no answer once the Dutch went ahead and continually hit them on the break.

The final goal came after Robben weaved around Casillas - who was crawling on the grass in desperation - and fired into the untended net.

His double was sweet revenge for Robben, who had a late chance saved by Casillas in the Johannesburg final and has struggled to live it down.

It was tough keeping track of the second-half barrage of Dutch goals.

Robben scored in the 53rd minute, reaching high to control another long ball from Blind, cutting inside Gerard Pique and firing past Casillas. De Vrij - was called for the first-half penalty - bundled home a Sneijder free kick at the far post 11 minutes later, and van Persie scored his second in the 72nd in a clinical display of counterattacking football.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque sat stony faced on his bench at full time, while Van Gaal walked onto the pitch to hug his players.

"This is a very delicate moment for us, and all of us have to find a way to solve it," Del Bosque said.

While Spain now has to regroup for its match against Chile on June 18, the Netherlands has to come back down to earth and then refocus for the next match, against Australia.

"We don't have anything yet. We've made a pretty start," Van Gaal said. "If you beat Australia, then you've made a good start."

 

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fifa group b
HIGH FIVE: Robin van Persie of the Netherlands celebrates with head coach Louis van Gaal.
fifa group b
Robin van Persie of the Netherlands lines up the ball prior to scoring his teams first goal.
fifa group b
And he sends it off...
fifa group b
Can it make it? Yes, yes it can.
fifa group b
Spain's Xabi Alonso celebrates with teammates after scoring a penalty goal, the first of the match and their only one.
fifa group b
Stefan de Vrij deflects the ball in for the Netherlands' third goal against Spain.
Fifa group b
Robin van Persie heads the ball to score against Spain.
Fifa group b
Jean Beausejour celebrates scoring Chile's third goal with Mauricio Pinilla.
Fifa group b
Chile beat the Socceroos 3-1.
Tim Cahill
Australian striker Tim Cahill remonstrates after having a goal disallowed against Chile.
Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill leaps above Gary Medel to head the ball past Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Socceroos
Referee Noumandiez Doue sprays a temporary line for the Socceroos' wall to stay behind during a free kick.
Mark Bresciano
Australia's Mark Bresciano and Chile's Marcelo Diaz collide in Cuiaba.
Jean Beausejour
Jean Beausejour strikes Chile's final goal to secure a 3-1 victory over Australia.
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie high-fives Daryl Janmaat after scoring the Netherlands' second goal.
Arjen Robben
Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben gestures to a TV camera after scoring his third goal at the World Cup.
Tim Cahill
Socceroos striker Tim Cahill celebrates after his volley goal that is a contender for goal of the tournament.
Mile Jedinak
Australian captain Mile Jedinak is somewhere under the pile after converting his spot kick for a 2-1 lead.
Memphis Depay
Australia's Ryan McGowan looks on in disappointment as Memphis Depay celebrates his match-winning goal with Robin van Persie.
Tim Cahill and Ron Vlaar
Tim Cahill (right) and Ron Vlaar battle for the ball.
Gary Medel
Gary Medel of Chile controls the ball against David Silva of Spain during their World Cup Group B match at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres of Spain competes for the ball with Gary Medel (left), Marcelo Diaz (second left) and Francisco Silva of Chile (second right).
Chile gallery
Jose Pedro Fuenzalida, Felipe Gutierrez and Gary Medel of Chile celebrate a 2-0 victory over Spain in their Group B match at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos of Spain looks on as teammate Jordi Alba fixes his boot during the World Cup Group B match at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Mauricio Isla
Chile's Mauricio Isla, Eduardo Vargas, Arturo Vidal and Gonzalo Jara (left to right) celebrate after their first goal during their World Cup Group B football match against Spain at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Diego Costa
Spain's Sergio Ramos tries to hide his disappointment after a shock 2-0 loss to Chile during their World Cup Group B football match at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Stefan de Vrij
Stefan de Vrij of the Netherlands and Mauricio Pinilla of Chile compete for the ball during the Group B match between the Netherlands and Chile at Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben of the Netherlands controls the ball as Gonzalo Jara of Chile gives chase during their World Cup clash in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Alexis Sanchez
Chile's Alexis Sanchez (right) argues with Dirk Kuyt (left) and Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands during their 2014 World Cup Group B football match.
Leroy Fer
Leroy Fer of the Netherlands celebrates after scoring a goal against Chile at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay of the Netherlands (right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates Arjen Robben (centre) and Daley Blind during their 2014 World Cup Group B football match against Chile.
Ron Vlaar
Ron Vlaar (left) and Daley Blind of the Netherlands celebrate after defeating Chile after their 2014 World Cup Group B football match at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo.
David Villa
Spain striker David Villa scores past Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan during their Group B clash at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba.
David Villa
David Villa puts Spain 1-0 up against Australia with a neat back heel past Australia's Mathew Ryan.
Fernando Torres
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres scores Spain's second goal against the Socceroos.
Spain midfielder Juan Mata is tracked by Australia's Mark Bresciano.
Juan Mata slots Spain's third goal through the legs of Socceroos goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

AP