Tuesday - Sep 26, 2017

World Cup Round up Day Two- First sensation of the tournament as Holland hammers the holders

World Cup Round up Day Two- First sensation of the tournament as Holland hammers the holders

Day Two of the 2014 FIFA World Cup got off to a slow but exceptionally wet start in Group A with Mexico succeeding of having two goals ruled out for questionable offside decisions to overcome a subdued Cameroon side, with a single goal from Oribe Peralta.

Particularly hard done to amongst the Mexican players was Giovani Dos Santos who had the misfortune of seeing two goals ruled out for offside in the first half, with replays later giving clear evidence that both calls were way off beam.

Playing in torrential rain throughout, Cameroon looked a real shadow of the side that burst upon the global soccer scene in the 1986 World Cup, having only once in their last 14 World Cup matches.

Mexico looked well worthy of the victory, which will give them loads of confidence for their next match against hosts Brazil on Tuesday in Fortaleza.

The eagerly awaited reply of the 2010 World Cup final between holders Spain and Netherlands in the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Bahia, produced a totally unexpected result, with the Dutch running out 5-1 winners.

The game got off to a slow start with the highly experienced Spanish side looking well in control and even took the lead, from the penalty spot through Xabi Alonso in the 27th minute. With the half time whistle looming, and the Dutch team looking devoid of answers, that most speculative of finishers, Robin van Persie rose like a salmon to reach a beautiful placed long pass from Daley Blind to send a tremendous header from above the strangely hapless Iker Casillas and into the net.

The goal marked a real turning point in the game, and in the second half the Spanish defensive pairing of Sergio Ramos and Gerald Pique was caught run footed on too many occasions, the first when Arjen Robben cut between them to put Netherlands in front and even more so eleven minutes later when defender Stefan de Vrij scrambled in a third from very close range from Wesley Sneijder free-kick.

After that it was like shooting ducks for the Dutch with Captain Van Persie catching Casillas flat footed to make it four.

Almost as soon as he scored Van Persi was substituted by his soon to be a new boss at Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal. Robin handed over the captain’s band to Robben who showed his appreciation by once again showing remarkably tenacity and quickness of foot to knock in a fifth in the eightieth minute, to mark the first time that they had conceded five goals in an international match in more than half a century and the first defending champions to lose by a four goal margin in the history of the tournament.

Robin and Robben are looking hot to continue their remarkable scoring run for the national side with Van Persie having scored 10 goals in his last nine appearances for the Oranges while Arjen has hit the back of the net seven times in his last seven appearances.

The only light relief that Spanish team boss Vicente Del Bosque could possibly take from his team’s abysmal showing is that the chances of it happening again are incredibly slim, and that the team’s opponents in the group, Chile and Australia failed to impress in their match, despite Chile making a great early start when Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez scored an early goal and then almost immediately set up another Jorge Valdivia. At that point it looked the “Socceroos” were out of their class, but they gradually eased their way back into the game, with Tim Cahill, now playing with the New York Red Bulls pulled one back before half time with a typical power header.

The Aussies pulled out all the stops in the second half, but the Chileans succeeded not only in hanging on, but even grabbing a third late on through Jean Beausejour.

The match between Spain and Chile scheduled for Wednesday now looks like do or die for Spain, who can now only realistically expect to take second place in Group B.

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