Spain's defensive disaster against Dutch

23:01, Jun 14 2014
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HIGH FIVE: Robin van Persie of the Netherlands celebrates with head coach Louis van Gaal.
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Robin van Persie of the Netherlands lines up the ball prior to scoring his teams first goal.
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And he sends it off...
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Can it make it? Yes, yes it can.
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Spain's Xabi Alonso celebrates with teammates after scoring a penalty goal, the first of the match and their only one.
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Stefan de Vrij deflects the ball in for the Netherlands' third goal against Spain.
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Robin van Persie heads the ball to score against Spain.
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Jean Beausejour celebrates scoring Chile's third goal with Mauricio Pinilla.
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Chile beat the Socceroos 3-1.
Tim Cahill
Australian striker Tim Cahill remonstrates after having a goal disallowed against Chile.
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Tim Cahill leaps above Gary Medel to head the ball past Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
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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.
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Australia's Ryan McGowan looks on in disappointment as Memphis Depay celebrates his match-winning goal with Robin van Persie.
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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.
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Fernando Torres of Spain competes for the ball with Gary Medel (left), Marcelo Diaz (second left) and Francisco Silva of Chile (second right).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Spain striker David Villa scores past Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan during their Group B clash at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba.
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David Villa puts Spain 1-0 up against Australia with a neat back heel past Australia's Mathew Ryan.
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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.

Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas crawled and scrambled in vain, Gerard Pique was beaten for pace and Sergio Ramos made a series of blunders.

Whatever happened to Spain's usually rock-solid defence?

A backline that helped Spain win its last three major tournaments was totally ripped to shreds in a 5-1 defeat by the Netherlands at the World Cup this morning, as the defending champions tumbled to their heaviest competitive defeat since 1950.

"I can't find the words" to explain it, coach Vicente del Bosque said. "I don't want to point fingers at anybody. A team's defeat doesn't come down to just one player. I don't want to point fingers at (Casillas) or anyone."

Casillas gifted Robin van Persie his second goal and the Real Madrid keeper was down and beaten as Arjen Robben waltzed through the area to score his second of the night.

"I didn't do things like I should have, especially to start a World Cup," Casillas said. "It wasn't one of my best games, I wasn't at the level I needed to be. I have to accept all criticism."

Pique was easily rounded by Robben for his first goal and then outsprinted by the Dutchman for his second, despite having a clear head start on the 30-year-old midfielder.

"The second half was terrible," Pique said, "we were just awful."

Ramos, normally the beating heart of Spain's backline, could do nothing as his defence collapsed around him.

Spain's players left the Arena Fonte Nova pitch in disbelief, with Del Bosque trying to maintain morale by encouraging his players at the final whistle.

"We found space in the first half, but everything started crumbling in the second," Del Bosque said. "We're a team of professionals and we have to understand that while this defeat hurts, no one should be reproached."

In one game, Spain conceded more goals than it did in its last two major tournaments combined.

Spain only conceded one goal as it retained its European championship title in 2012 and just two as it lifted the World Cup for the first time in 2010.

The European champion, which hadn't been beaten so humiliatingly since losing 6-1 to Brazil the last time the World Cup was played in this South American country, has little time to regroup in a tough Group B.

With Chile next on Wednesday, Del Bosque needs his team to rediscover its former defensive strengths.

"We have to move forward, keep quiet, work hard and look at the next match as the most important final of the tournament," said Casillas after earning his 155th - and most humbling - cap.

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Gerard Pique
DEFEATED: Spain's Gerard Pique was beaten for pace.
Gerard Pique
DEFEATED: Spanish goalie Iker Casillas didn't perform.
Gerard Pique
DEFEATED: "I can't find the words," Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque says.

AP