On Day 2
HOLLAND GAINED A satisfactory measure of revenge on Spain for their 2010 World Cup final loss by handing Vicente del Bosque’s men a 5-1 thrashing. Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie were unstoppable as Oranje humiliated the reigning champions. It was a result few expected after 22 minutes when Diego Costa earned Spain a questionable penalty that Xabi Alonso converted. Van Persie, who netted twice, declared, “I don’t want us to be too excited, this is just one game and three points. We have to stick together and we have to improve.”
The day started with Mexico eventually scoring a legitimate goal through Oribe Peralta, in rain-soaked Natal, to beat Cameroon 1-0. Miguel Herrara’s side were denied two first-half goals as Giovani Dos Santos was called offside twice [once incorrectly]. Eric Choupo-Moting also had one chalked off for Cameroon who earned little bonus money from their sagging display.
In Pool B’s other game, Barcelona attacker Alexis Sanchez scored Chile’s opener and teed up Jorge Valdivia for a second before Tim Cahill’s towering header reduced the deficit before half-time. The Socceroos pushed hard after the break but a Jean Beausejour goal made the game safe at 3-1 near the death.
Arjen Robben – The Dutch midfielder missed a one-on-one, which was saved by Iker Casillas, in the 2010 final against Spain. On Friday night, he was lethal. His first goal was Denis Bergkamp-esque and he left at least four Spaniards red-faced with his second, Holland’s fifth.
Vicente del Bosque – Hailed for the crisp, cutting football that delivered two major trophies in two years, the Spanish manager needs to rally his wounded troops in order to keep their title reign alive after the group stages. “This has been the most painful defeat of my whole career,” he admitted to Spanish radio station Carrusel post-match.
Van Persie’s first goal saw the Dutchman (now with added orange cape) back to his crafty, daring best.
What have we got to look forward to today?
- Colombia attempt to break down a stubborn Greek defence without the help of injured goal-getter Radamel Falcao at 5pm.
- Luis Suarez rests up at 8pm as his Uruguay teammates try to see off Costa Rica.
- England get their World Cup underway at 11pm by taking on Italy in Manaus.
- Ivory Coast play Japan in the early hours of Sunday morning [2am].