Socceroos denied upset in Cup thriller

01:53, Jun 19 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.
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).
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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.
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.

The Netherlands had to work much harder for victory over the World Cup's lowest-ranked team than they did against the defending world and European champions. 

A goalkeeping blunder by Mat Ryan handed substitute Memphis Depay his first international goal and the Netherlands the winner this morning after a spirited Australia had brought the Dutch back down to earth with a bump following their 5-1 thrashing of Spain in their Group B opener. 

''In a tournament you can't play every game fantastically from beginning to end,'' striker Robin van Persie said. 

Arjen Robben opened the scoring with a break-away goal before Tim Cahill's stunning volley brought the sides level just a minute later.

Mile Jedinak then converted a 54th-minute penalty and Van Persie equalised with his third goal of the tournament four minutes after that. 

Depay's speculative long-range shot beat Ryan in the 68th minute to give the Dutch a 3-2 victory. 

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It was a tactical change by coach Louis van Gaal that may have helped turn the game for the Dutch, who gave away the ball too often in the first half under pressure from Australia. 

After starting with the same 5-3-2 formation that tore apart Spain, Van Gaal switched to the traditional Dutch system of 4-3-3 at halftime - a change forced on him in part by an injury to Bruno Martins Indi and in part to switch the way his players were approaching the match. 

''That is the natural system that every Dutch boy grows up with,'' Van Gaal said.

''We can always switch to that system. In the second half it went much better.''  

Regardless of which system his team was playing, Van Gaal said he was pleased with its productivity. 

''We've scored eight goals and conceded three in two matches,'' Van Gaal said. ''That fits into the 'Holland school' of attacking football.''  

The coach was helped again by his star strikers.  Van Persie's second-half goal was not as spectacular as his header against Spain, but he was again in the right place to slot home a chance.

Robben showed that at 30 he's still one of the fastest attackers in football, sprinting half the length of the pitch and driving in a low shot to open the scoring. 

''It is fantastic to have strikers like Robben and Van Persie,'' Van Gaal said. ''They've both scored three times and we've only been playing two matches ... and the way they score is also unbelievably good and attractive for the fans.''  

The Netherlands will face Chile in their final Group B match without all-time top scorer Van Persie, who was given his second yellow card of the tournament early in the second half, meaning he is automatically suspended for the next match. 

Van Gaal also will have to wait to see if Martins Indi is fit after the central defender was carried off late in the first half following a late challenge by Cahill and sent to hospital to undergo tests for a possible concussion.    

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou paid tribute to the way his team fought, and predicted the Dutch could go a long way in the tournament. 

''They're going to be a handful - particularly if you look at the front three,'' he said. ''Arjen Robben, Van Persie, Sneijder, they're good enough to unlock any defence.'' 

 

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