Netherlands and Australia faced off from Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre with the Netherlands defeating Australia 3 -2 to improve to 6 points, and move to the top of Group B.
After defeating Group B favorites last week by a decisive margin, 5 – 1, the Netherlands defeated Australia after scoring three more goals and now sit atop Group B. It was the second consecutive strong showing for the Dutch who now can advance to the next round with a Chile victory or draw today versus Spain.
Led by Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, the Dutch side controlled the midfield with Wesley Sneijder and company, creating several opportunities for their two stars. Robben drew first blood in the 20th minute scoring after a long run with the ball from midfield, that found him in the box unmarked by the Australian defense. Australia answered back just 70 seconds later with what was described by World Cup commentator, Jon Champion, during the live broadcast, as a “sensational left footed volley” by Tim Cahil.
The game went into halftime tied 1 – 1 with the underdog, Australia, playing in survival mode after losing their first Group B match to Chile. The game was a tale of two halves as the Australians struck first after a handball in the box earned them a penalty kick which was converted by Mile Jedinak in the 54th minute.
Robin Van Persie answered back three minutes later to even the score at 2 – 2. Van Persie, who won’t be available for the Netherlands next game against Chile after receiving his second yellow card of the tournament, scored a crucial goal, which helped the Netherlands keep the win within grasp. The Dutch managed to score a third goal just a few minutes later by Memphis Depay and were able to hold onto their one goal lead.
As the Netherlands defeat Australia, this win brings the Dutch one step closer to making another deep run into the World Cup. Next up for the Netherlands will be Chile and Australia will take on Spain. Netherlands second round fate can be decided later this afternoon as they await the result of Spain vs. Chile.