FIFA World Cup

World Cup: Spain 1-5 Netherlands

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport in Salvador
World Cup 2014: Highlights: Spain 1-5 Netherlands

Story of the match:

  • Costa wins Spain a penalty
  • Silva misses chance for 2-0
  • Van Persie levels to start rout
  • Casillas at fault for fourth goal

Netherlands produced a sensational second-half performance to annihilate reigning champions Spain in a stunned Arena Fonte Nova.

Spain lived up to their favourites tag by opening the scoring through a Xabi Alonso penalty, but Robin van Persie equalised with an incredible diving header just before half-time and Arjen Robben put Netherlands in front with a cool finish.

Stefan de Vrij forced in a third from Wesley Sneijder's free-kick, Van Persie dispossessed goalkeeper Iker Casillas to make it four and Robben's brilliant solo effort sealed the win.

Spain, looking to win a fourth consecutive major international trophy, were humbled and humiliated in the repeat of the 2010 World Cup final. The last time they conceded five goals in an international match was in 1963.

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Three-time runners-up Netherlands will suddenly find themselves talked about among the leading contenders to lift the title and it is not unrealistic if they maintain this level of display.

It was their first meeting with Spain since the showpiece four years ago in South Africa and the first time the previous finalists had met in the opening round of matches at the next World Cup.

Ear-splitting noise reverberated around one of Brazil's most impressive stadiums as the teams emerged before kick-off.

Netherlands striker Robin van Perise scores a spectacular header against Spain
Van Persie has 10 goals in his last nine Netherlands outings

The Dutch fans have travelled in far smaller numbers than usual - a reflection of their pre-competition hopes - but there were still pockets of orange mixed in with the red of Spain, yellow of Brazil and the colours of various other teams, fitting in this melting pot of a city.

It made for a mighty atmosphere, including boos for pantomime villain Diego Costa - the striker born in Brazil and capped by them before switching allegiances to Spain.

Costa was clattered early on by Ron Vlaar, and there were more heavy challenges as the first half progressed, but any idea that the Netherlands would turn this into an encounter as brutal as their defeat in Johannesburg four year's ago were soon dismissed.

Indeed, it was Louis van Gaal's Dutch side who created the first clear chance when Robben slipped Wesley Sneijder clean through but captain Casillas's one-handed save kept the ball out.

That miss appeared costly when Xavi released Costa into the penalty area and he fell under the challenge of De Vrij. Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli pointed to the spot, although replays showed Costa had stood on the Feyenoord defender's leg.

Alonso slotted the resulting penalty past Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen but rather than leading to a period of dominance, Vicente del Bosque's men sat back and tried to defend their lead and Netherlands accepted the invitation to get forward and finally enjoyed some possession.

However, it was Spain who came closest to scoring a second when Andres Iniesta played in David Silva with a glorious inch-perfect pass but the Manchester City midfielder's tame chipped effort was turned away by Cillessen.

It was a missed opportunity that would come back to haunt Spain as within five minutes, Van Persie had scored the goal that proved the turning point of the match.

The Manchester United striker escaped the attentions of Sergio Ramos and met Daley Blind's crossfield pass with an astonishing 15-yard header that looped over a despairing Casillas.

World Cup 2014: Arjen Robben scores fifth Dutch goal

Netherlands left the field at the break embracing each other with wide smiles and they carried that momentum into the second half.

Van Gaal's men deservedly took the lead when Xavi - the heartbeat of Spain's midfield for so long - lost possession and Blind supplied another pinpoint aerial pass from the left, which Robben expertly controlled before eluding Gerard Pique and finishing confidently.

Spain were now rocking and Van Persie smashed a half volley against the bar before De Vrij bundled a third goal over the line after Casillas missed Sneijder's inswinging free-kick from the left.

The goalkeeper protested that he had been impeded by Van Persie - and he had a point - but referee Rizzoli was unmoved and the Netherlands were suddenly in control at 3-1 up.

Silva thought he had given the world champions hope when he scored from close-range but his effort was correctly ruled offside.

Netherlands forward Arjen Robben scores against Spain in his side's 5-1 win
Robben has seven goals for the Dutch in his last seven games

And moments later, Netherlands were 4-1 up.

Casillas, who produced a stunning save to keep out a Robben volley, turned villain when he miscontrolled a backpass from Sergio Ramos and was tackled by Van Persie, who slid the ball into an empty net.

Robben then capped a fine individual performance with a fine solo goal. The winger raced from inside his own half to latch on to Sneijder's through ball and outpaced Ramos before taking the ball round Casillas and smashing past two defenders on the line.

Spain were in pieces and continued to be torn apart, substitute Jeremain Lens and Robben going close.

And Spain's torrid evening was summed up when substitute Fernando Torres failed to score from three yards. The Chelsea striker looked certain to register a consolation, only for Blind to arrive with a timely last-ditch challenge.

The full-time whistle was met with scenes of Dutch joy and Spanish woe, on the turf and in the stands. Netherlands embarked upon a lap of honour.

It was a result that will send shockwaves through world football.

World Cup moments: Van Persie's spectacular header



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1CasillasBooked at 65mins
  • 22Azpilicueta
  • 3Piqué
  • 15Ramos
  • 18Alba
  • 16Busquets
  • 14AlonsoSubstituted forPedroat 63'minutes
  • 21SilvaSubstituted forFàbregasat 78'minutes
  • 8Hernández
  • 6Iniesta
  • 19Diego CostaSubstituted forTorresat 62'minutes


  • 2Albiol
  • 4Martínez Aguinaga
  • 5Torres Belén
  • 7Villa
  • 9Torres
  • 10Fàbregas
  • 11Pedro
  • 12de Gea
  • 13Mata
  • 17Koke
  • 20Cazorla
  • 23Reina


Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Cillessen
  • 3de VrijBooked at 41minsSubstituted forVeltmanat 77'minutes
  • 2Vlaar
  • 4Martins Indi
  • 7Janmaat
  • 8de GuzmánBooked at 25minsSubstituted forWijnaldumat 62'minutes
  • 6de Jong
  • 5Blind
  • 10Sneijder
  • 9van PersieBooked at 66minsSubstituted forLensat 79'minutes
  • 11Robben


  • 12Verhaegh
  • 13Veltman
  • 14Kongolo
  • 15Kuyt
  • 16Clasie
  • 17Lens
  • 18Fer
  • 19Huntelaar
  • 20Wijnaldum
  • 21Depay
  • 22Vorm
  • 23Krul
Nicola Rizzoli

Match Stats

Home TeamSpainAway TeamNetherlands
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Spain 1, Holland 5.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Spain 1, Holland 5.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Pedro (Spain).

  4. Post update

    Georginio Wijnaldum (Holland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wesley Sneijder (Holland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jeremain Lens.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Spain).

  7. Post update

    Nigel de Jong (Holland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wesley Sneijder (Holland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Arjen Robben.

  9. Post update

    Hand ball by Jeremain Lens (Holland).

  10. Post update

    Corner, Holland. Conceded by Sergio Ramos.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Arjen Robben (Holland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Georginio Wijnaldum (Holland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daley Blind.

  13. Post update

    Andrés Iniesta (Spain) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Joël Veltman (Holland).

  15. Post update

    Offside, Spain. Gerard Piqué tries a through ball, but Fernando Torres is caught offside.

  16. Post update

    Andrés Iniesta (Spain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Joël Veltman (Holland).

  18. Post update

    Corner, Spain. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Spain 1, Holland 5. Arjen Robben (Holland) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Wesley Sneijder with a through ball following a fast break.

  20. Post update

    Jordi Alba (Spain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

As It Stood






3Ivory Coast00000000


2Costa Rica00000000








3Football Union of Russia00000000
4South Korea00000000
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