SALVADOR, Brazil (Sporting Alert) — Defending champions Spain were hammered 5-1 by the Netherlands in their Group B 2014 FIFA World Cup opener here at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on Friday.
Two goals each from Manchester United forward Robin van Persie, including a stunning header and Bayern Munich attacker Arjen Robben and one from defender Stefan de Vrij, sealed the come back win for the Dutch, who scored four unanswered goals.
The victory on Friday saw Holland avenging their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Spain in the 2010 final.
Spain had taken the lead through Xabi Alonso, who scored a 27th minute penalty kick, following a foul on Diego Costa inside the penalty area.
However, Netherlands equalized from a brilliant goal by Van Persie just before the half-time break, and then scored three more goals in the second half on their way to cruising to the easy win.
It was also a very down night for Spain goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, who made several costly mistakes in his team’s heavy defeat.
Spain v Holland
Spain: Casillas, Azpilicueta, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Jordi Alba, Alonso, Xavi, Busquets, Silva, Diego Costa, Iniesta. Subs: De Gea, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Villa, Torres, Fabregas, Pedro, Mata, Koke, Cazorla, Reina
Holland: Cillessen, Janmaat, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, de Guzman, Sneijder, De Jong, van Persie, Robben. Subs: Vorm, Verhaegh, Veltman, Kongolo, Kuyt, Clasie, Lens, Fer, Huntelaar, Wijnaldum, Depay, Krul
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)