2104 FIFA World Cup
Full Time: Australia 2-3 Netherlands
Date: 18 June 2014
Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio
Netherlands survived a scare after coming from behind to beat Australia 3-2 in a Group B, 2014 FIFA World Cup match at the Estadio Beira-Rio on Wednesday night.
The first 45 saw Australia playing the better football as they controlled the midfield battle with their high work-rate. They also gave the Dutch no time on the ball when in possession.
Still, despite Australia seeing more of the ball, their passing in the final third was poor and that resulted in very few chances in front of goal.
In the 20th minute, very much against the run of play, the Dutch took the lead Arjen Robben drove towards gaol, beating a couple of defenders before firing the ball into the bottom corner from roughly 14-yards out, 1-0.
Australia, though, hit back immediately with arguably the goal of the tournament.
Tim Cahill latched onto a deep cross from the right flank and volleyed home a sublime left-footed strike which flew in off the underside of the crossbar from just inside the 18-yard box, 1-1.
In the 31st minute Australia should have taken the lead when Mathew Leckie broke down the right flank and squared for Mark Bresciano, but he side-footed the ball inches wide form 14-yards out.
The half ended 1-1.
Seven minutes into the second stanza Australia were gifted the perfect opportunity to take the lead when Daryl Janmaat handed the ball inside the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Mile Jedinak stepped up and blasted the ball into the bottom left corner to give the Socceroos an unlikely 2-1 lead.
Four minutes later, however, the Netherlands restored the parity when Robin van Persie was set up by substitute Memphis Depay, and van Persie made no mistake to make it 2-2.
The Dutch then took the lead in the 67th minute when Depay saw his powerful struck 30-yard shot sail into the bottom corner, 3-2.
Australia tried to find their way back into the game, but were unable to do so as the Netherlands held on for the win.
The result sees the Dutch at the top of Group B with six points while Australia prop up the group with no points.
A draw or win for Chile in the Group’s next match between the South Americans and Spain will see the Netherlands guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages of the World Cup.