2014 World Cup review: Robin van Persie fires Dutch while Spain bow out

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Thursday 19 June 2014

World Cup review: Van Persie fires Dutch while Spain exit

Man United forward takes Oranje through and goes top of scorers' chart as holders suffer shock exit

Australia 2-3 Netherlands

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie and Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak were among the scorers as the Netherlands battled back to edge a five-goal thriller and reach the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup while eliminating the Socceroos in Group B.

Having trounced Spain 5-1 in their opening match it seemed as though another one-sided contest was in store when the former Chelsea forward Arjen Robben gave the Oranje the lead 20 minutes in, but Australia replied instantly with one of the goals of the tournament as former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill met a long diagonal ball with a ferocious left-foot volley that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

Australia took the lead in the 54th minute when Jedinak kept his cool to convert a penalty, becoming the frst Crystal Palace player to score at a World Cup finals. However, the Aussie captain's joy was shortlived as the Netherlands were level four minutes later when Van Persie produced a thumping left-footed effort to move joint top of the scorers' charts with three goals.

The side coached by new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal conjured their winner when Memphis Depay beat Matthew Ryan from 25 yards and ended Australia's hopes of progressing further in the tournament.

BPL players to feature
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).
Netherlands: Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Jonthan De Guzman (Swansea CIty, sub: 78min), Robin van Persie (Manchester United, 87). Subs not used: Michel Vorm (Swansea), Tim Krul (Newcastle).
Goals: Mile Jedinak, 54. Robin van Persie, 58.

Spain 0-2 Chile

The World Cup suffered a major shock as Spain, the holders, crashed out of the tournament after suffering their second successive defeat in Group B.

Having lost 5-1 to the Netherlands in their opening match, la Furia Roja needed to win to get their title defence back on track and to that end four Barclays Premier League players appeared for Vicente Del Bosque's side, with Manchester City playmaker David Silva and Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta selected from the start and Blues striker Fernando Torres and Santi Cazorla coming on as second-half substitutes. However, the world and European champions had no answer to a Chile side who ran out deserved winners by employing a high-pressing game and a committed attacking approach.

The South Americans, for whom Cardiff City midfielder Guy Medel gave a characteristically battling performance, made their breakthrough after 20 minutes when Eduardo Vargas finished off a sweeping move by latching on to Charles Aranguiz's pass, side-stepping Iker Casillas and prodding in the ball. Aranguiz doubled Chile's lead two minutes before half-time when Casillas could only punch a free-kick into his path and the striker responded with an instant toe-punt that caught the Real Madrid goalkeeper off guard.

The result means that Spain, who were aiming for an unprecedented third successive major success, exit the tournament at the group stage.

BPL players to feature
David Silva (Manchester City), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea). Subs: Fernando Torres (Chelsea, 64), Santi Cazorla (76). Subs not used: Jose Reina (Liverpool), David De Gea (Manchester United), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Juan Mata (Manchester United).

Cameroon 0-4 Croatia

Croatia made light work of Cameroon and the humid conditions to condemn the African nation to an early exit from the competition with a classy performance in Manaus.

Niko Kovac's side took an 11th-minute lead through Ivica Olic and although the Croats' task was aided by the 40th-minute dismissal of former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, their victory never looked in doubt. Ivan Perisic's goal shortly after the interval and a Mario Mandzukic double-strike ended a one-sided contest that means Croatia will need to beat Mexico in their final match to reach last 16.

BPL players to feature
Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham Hotspur), Stephane Mbia (Queens Park Rangers). Sub not used: Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea).
Croatia: Dejan Lovren (Southampton). Sub not used: Nikica Jelavic (Hull City).

BPL goalscorers at the FIFA 2014 World Cup

3 Van Persie (Netherlands & Man Utd).
1 Oscar (Brazil & Chelsea), Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast & Swansea City), Daniel Sturridge (England & Liverpool), Joel Campbell (Costa Rica & Arsenal), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace & Australia)

* players classified as BPL players are those registered to 2014/15 Premier League clubs until 30 June, 2014, even if they are to be released or are or have been on loan at another club this season.

2014 FIFA World Cup fixtures

19 June (BST)
Colombia v Ivory Coast
8pm Uruguay v England
11pm Japan v Greece

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