Netherlands conquer Chile and top Group B

01:17, Jun 24 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.

Leroy Fer scored a minute after coming on as a substitute to break the deadlock and help give the Netherlands a 2-0 victory over Chile this morning and top Group B at the World Cup with three consecutive wins.

Fer had only just replaced Wesley Sneijder when he rose almost unmarked in the Chile penalty area to put the Dutch ahead with a powerful 77th-minute header.

Another substitute, Memphis Depay, then tapped in a cross from Arjen Robben in injury time to double the lead.

Arjen Robben
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 win over Chile at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Both teams had already advanced to the second round, but Chile's first loss of the tournament consigned it to second place in Group B.

The Dutch now travel to Fortaleza to play the Group A runner-up in the round of 16. Chile faces the Group A winner in Belo Horizonte.

Group A leader Brazil is playing the already-eliminated Cameroon later today and Mexico faces Croatia in the other match.

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Chile began with its trademark fast, attacking style while the Dutch, with a five-man defence, looked content to sit back, absorb the pressure and hope to break out with swift counterattacks. The strategy paid off handsomely.

Perhaps with an eye on the round of 16, Chile left midfielder Arturo Vidal on the bench. The Juventus star underwent knee surgery last month but started Chile's first two matches in Brazil and said before the match he was fit to play.

His absence deprived Chile of midfield creativity and it struggled to break down the well-drilled Dutch defence.

The Netherlands was playing without suspended captain and striker Robin van Persie and was also missing defender Bruno Martins Indi, who suffered a concussion in the team's last match, a tough 3-2 victory over Australia in Porto Alegre.

Manager Louis Van Gaal pulled another tactical surprise with his starting lineup - reverting to the 5-3-2 formation he began with against Spain and posting veteran forward Dirk Kuyt at left back.

Dynamo Kiev striker Jeremain Lens started in place of Van Persie.

It was the substitutes who made the difference late in the game when Fer scored almost with his first touch and Depay doubled his World Cup tally in stoppage time.

See below for play-by-play coverage of the match. 

AP