Well, that was certainly something, wasn’t it?
We’ll remember Day 2 of the World Cup for one game, and one game only: Netherlands’ 5-1 thrashing of Spain in a rematch of the 2010 final. Holland pulped the defending champs, scoring five unanswered goals – including two each from star attackers Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben – to register one of the most memorable victories in recent World Cup history.
Of course, Day 2 also featured a pair of other games. Here’s how it all played out:
Mexico 1-0 Cameroon
Two controversial decisions to disallow goals from Mexican attacker Gio Dos Santos couldn’t stop El Tri, which got a second half goal from forward Oribe Peralta to top Cameroon 1-0 in Group A play.
Mexico thoroughly deserved all three points, controlling the entire match and limiting the Indomitable Lions to hardly any clear-cut chances. Mexico is currently in second in Group A, trailing leaders Brazil on goal differential. Cameroon sits in third, ahead of last-place Croatia on goal difference.
Netherlands 5-1 Spain
The Oranje fell behind early – going down 1-0 in the 27th minute after Xabi Alonso converted a controversial PK – but stormed back with a vengeance, scoring five unanswered to top the 2010 World Cup champs and 2008 and 2012 European title holders 5-1.
van Persie opened things up for the Dutch, scoring a truly fantastic headed goal in the 44th minute to pull things level. Holland dominated the rest of the match, with Robben scoring in the 53rd, Stefan de Vrij tallying in the 64th, van Persie completing his brace in the 72nd and Robben notching the fifth in the 80th. The Netherlands nearly added a couple more goals before the end of the match, but saw good chances turned away by – an otherwise awful – Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
It was a truly remarkable match, both for Holland’s strong performance and for the stunning no-show from a very old-looking Spanish side. Holland will face Australia next. Spain will take on Chile in what could be a must-win game for La Furia Roja.
Chile 3-1 Australia
It looked like Chile would run right over Australia, taking a 2-0 lead after 14 minutes and dominating for long stretches against the Socceroos.
Australia hung tough though, getting a 35th minute goal from New York Red Bulls Designated Player Tim Cahill to pull within one. The Aussies thought they equalized in the 51st minute, when Cahill headed home but had the goal called back for offside. Chile found a dagger in second half stoppage time, when substitute Jean Beausejour topping off Alexis Sanchez’ and Jorge Valdivia’s early tallies to give Chile a 3-1 win.