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World Cup 2014 - Qualifying matches

Spain 1 – Holland 5

Spain: Casillas; Azpilicueta, Sergio Ramos, Piqué, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Xabi Alonso (Pedro 62’); David Silva (Fàbregas 78’), Diego Costa (Fernando Torres 62’), Iniesta. 4-3-3.
Holland: Cillessen; Janmaat, De Vrij, Vlaar (Veltman 77’), Martins Indi, Blind; De Jong, De Guzman (Wijnaldum 62’), Snejijder; Robben, Van Persie (Lens 79’). 5-3-2.

1-0. 27. Xabi Alonso (penalty). After De Vrij tripped Diego Costa inside the area.
1-1. 44. Van Persie. Got on the end of Blind centre to steer header over Casillas.
1-2. 53. Robben. Pulled down long pass and turned shot wide of keeper.
1-3. 65. De Vrij. Bundled ball in to net on far post from wide Sneijder free kick.
1-4. 72. Van Persie. Won ball off Casillas and poked shot in to empty net.
1-5. 80. Robben. Ran on from half-way line and beat three defenders to score.

A disastrous start for defending champions Spain in this year’s World Cup, a 1-5 defeat against Holland leaving them facing an early exit from the competition. In a match between the two finalists from the previous World Cup in South Africa, Xabi Alonso put Del Bosque’s side ahead from the penalty spot after De Vrij tripped Diego Costa in the area midway through the first half. With half time looming Silva missed a chance to make it two, and just a minute later Van Persie flung himself forward to head a long centre by blind over the stranded Casillas. The second half started with rain falling heavily, and a few minutes in Robben pulled down a long pass by Blind and left Piqué and Ramos for dead before turning a shot past Casillas. Spain were reeling, and Van Persie fired a volley against the crossbar before De Vrij headed a third from Sneijder’s wide free kick, the referee turning down the Spanish players’ appeal for a foul by Van Persie on the keeper. Silva had a goal disallowed correctly for offside soon afterwards, but then a shaky Casillas failed to control a back-pass, gifting the ball for Van Persie to run on and score in to an empty net. Worse was to come when Robben ran on to a long ball from Sneijder, outsprinting Ramos to turn past Casillas to score a fifth, and only a couple of saves by the Real Madrid keeper prevented Wijnaldum and Robben from completing the set. Spain had let in more goals in one match then the last World Cup and European Championship combined, and they now have to win their last two games against Chile and Australia to have any realistic hope of reaching the knockout stage. It must be remembered that they lost their first game in the previous World Cup as well, but nobody imagined a scoreline like this in their wildest dreams!