Defending champions Spain kick off their defence of the World Cup against the Netherlands at the Arena Fonte Nova in what is a sequel to the 2010 final.

Spain haven’t had the most difficult friendlies to contend with on their way to the tournaments opener and had two successful victories over Bolivia and El Salvador. The number one ranker side on the planet made easy work of the qualification campaign with an unbeaten run through all eight fixtures delivering six wins and a goal difference of positive eleven. While they seem to be pushing forward, their 3-0 defeat in last year’s Confederation Cup final will still be sitting in the back of their minds. This golden generation of Spanish talent will be looking to emerge victorious at a fourth successive major tournament but a tricky group and a potential draw against Brazil could be lurking even if they go through. Their squad are getting older now and this may be the last time they play consistently together.

The Netherlands meanwhile, on the losing side of that 2010 World Cup final, will be looking for revenge. They have recently walked through friendlies with Wales and Ghana but made it very hard for themselves against Ecuador on 21st May. They are, however, a team that always managed to maintain a competitive edge in major tournaments. Finishing second on three separate occasions, including 2010, they will still be full of hope despite a tough group which also contains Chile and Australia. Louis Van Gaal may be off to pastures new but his second spell in charge could end with a bang. It is fair to say that his setback, when the Netherlands failed to qualify in 2002, didn’t manage to hurt his reputation too much. A strong personality and a direct approach have seen him get the absolute best out of Robin Van Persie, who he’ll interestingly manage next season, but with Arjen Robben the only 100% fit ‘superstar’ in their squad you can see Chile quickly breathing down their necks.

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Ian June 13, 201410:08 pm

Well, let’s draw this one to a close then, I guess. Magnificent, from the Netherlands – an absolutely consummate performance and one of the best I’ve ever seen in the World Cup Finals. As for Spain, well, their biggest concern will now surely be the psychological effect of such a drubbing. We’ll be back in three quarters of an hour or so with Chile vs Australia.

Ted June 13, 20149:58 pm

Spain vs Chile is going to be properly interesting.

Mark June 13, 20149:55 pm

Please be aware that my PC is auto deleting text and my live streaming stops periodically – I found out it was 4-1 from this blog. So advance apologies if I can’t keep up with all Australia’s goals tonight…

Ian June 13, 20149:54 pm

Well, that was absolutely superb from the Netherlands. One of the best performances by any team that I can remember in a World Cup finals match. As for Spain… well, I don’t know how you pick yourself up after that. We’ll see, I guess.

Ted June 13, 20149:53 pm

What a thoroughly entertaining game. I feel a bit like I was at the execution of Charles I.

Terry June 13, 20149:52 pm

5-1 and the head scratching begins. Not for us though because Chile are on next! Yay!

Richard June 13, 20149:51 pm

Martins Indi has been a wall for the Netherlands tonight.

Terry June 13, 20149:50 pm

There are so few games in World Cups and results like this can really alter the destiny of great teams. Suddenly Spain have two games left and a -4 goal difference.

Mark June 13, 20149:50 pm

Arthur Askey in orange with the fake Cup and the hat back there…and playing up front for Spain by the looks of it…

Terry June 13, 20149:49 pm

Spectacular defending to prevent a second from Spain

Richard June 13, 20149:48 pm

That tackle from Blind really sums this game up… and Torres’ season

Richard June 13, 20149:47 pm

This will certainly make the late kick off more adventurous

Richard June 13, 20149:46 pm

Should have been six.

Terry June 13, 20149:44 pm

Wijnaldum and Robben bring the best out of Casillas. Could have been six. What a game!

Mark June 13, 20149:44 pm

“Never a good thing for a commentator to be speechless,” says Wilson. Insert your own Andy Townsend comment here.

Ian June 13, 20149:44 pm

This is just absolute filth. Pure, unadulterated filth.

Richard June 13, 20149:43 pm

The BBC planned for this

Ted June 13, 20149:43 pm

Not only is the coverage better on the BBC, but the matches are too.

Terry June 13, 20149:42 pm

Bet those Spanish fans in the dresses which they’d bought a change of clothes.

Terry June 13, 20149:41 pm

That Brian Moore commentary is pretty iconic, I reckon it was a doff of the hat to Moore, Mark.

Richard June 13, 20149:40 pm

Cillessen’s save from David Silva was the turning point

Mark June 13, 20149:40 pm

“It could be a fifth. It should be fifth. It is a fifth.” A straight nick from Brian Moore commentating on Don Rogers scoring at Selhurst in 1973-ish to make it Palace 5 Man United 0. If Wilson was paying deliberate homage, he’s brilliant…

Richard June 13, 20149:40 pm

Robben getting a little cocky there.

Ian June 13, 20149:40 pm

Robben should never have been allowed anywhere near the ball in the first place. Spain just look completely demoralised.

Terry June 13, 20149:39 pm

Whatever that is.

Terry June 13, 20149:39 pm

I had a draw on my coupon. I was expecting caginess but this is the opposite of cagey.

Ted June 13, 20149:39 pm

Flabbergasting determination and pace from Robben. He’s been unplayable since half time.

Richard June 13, 20149:38 pm

I wonder who predicted this…. oh wait, no-one

Terry June 13, 20149:38 pm

Emphatic from Robben. Tragic for Casillas.

Terry June 13, 20149:37 pm

This is like Spain of old when they turned up at tournaments highly fancied and ended up blowing it completely.

Richard June 13, 20149:37 pm

Unbelievable. 5-1

Richard June 13, 20149:35 pm

If that was a dive by Torres then it should clearly have been a yellow.

Terry June 13, 20149:35 pm

I was also about to say, just before the 4th goal ridiculous it was that two of the best teams in the World are playing and the crowd are doing a Mexican wave.

Mark June 13, 20149:34 pm

This result opens the group up. Not much more. Yet.

Richard June 13, 20149:33 pm

Here comes the magic spray!

Mark June 13, 20149:32 pm

At least it stopped that most ridiculous of Mexican waves. The game is, well was, at a hugely intriguing stage…exciting too. And some group of MORONS decides to start the ******* wave. And these c**ts probably get the vote.

Richard June 13, 20149:32 pm

Suddenly my earlier statistic doesn’t seem that out of place.

Terry June 13, 20149:31 pm

4-1 though. Fucking Hell.

Ted June 13, 20149:31 pm

This is a great performance of winning football by the Netherlands.

Terry June 13, 20149:31 pm

Maybe that lack of matchplay is taking its toll on Casillas.

Richard June 13, 20149:30 pm

This result will certainly make the remaining group games more interesting.

Richard June 13, 20149:30 pm

Robin Van Persie makes it 4-1.

Iker Casillas makes an awful mistake and mistimes his control after a back-pass from Pique

Terry June 13, 20149:29 pm

I withdraw my previous remark.

Terry June 13, 20149:28 pm

Got a feeling Spain could storm back. Plenty of time left.

Terry June 13, 20149:27 pm

RvP with a ferocious strike which pings off Casillas.

Richard June 13, 20149:27 pm

Holland are deserving of this lead.

Terry June 13, 20149:25 pm


Richard June 13, 20149:25 pm

Silva has the ball in the back of the Dutch net but it’s rightly adjudged offside.

Terry June 13, 20149:24 pm

You’ve certainly seen free kicks given for van Persie’s challenge on the ‘keeper.

Ian June 13, 20149:23 pm

That was chaotic defending from Spain, and no goalkeeper – no player, to be frank – should be depending on a whistle from the referee.

(That only happens when Brazil are playing, ho ho)

Richard June 13, 20149:23 pm

Certainly feel Iker had reason to complain

Mark June 13, 20149:23 pm

Casillas is probably right

Richard June 13, 20149:23 pm

This is far superior to the final of 2010.

Terry June 13, 20149:22 pm

Casillas probably reckons van Persie fouled him.

Richard June 13, 20149:22 pm

Stephen de Vrij has made it three – one.

Freekick “floated” in by Robben is headed in at the back post. Casillas is complaining about a foul from Van Persie during the cross.

Terry June 13, 20149:22 pm

de Vrij finds the ball at the far past and it’s 3-1

Ian June 13, 20149:21 pm


Richard June 13, 20149:20 pm

That’s the end of the Brazilians night as Costa is replaced by Torres – Alonso has also switched with Pedro

Netherlands made their first change a few moments ago with De Guzman coming off for Wijnaldum

Terry June 13, 20149:18 pm

Brilliant from Robben who hooks up with Janmaat and the van Persie off the bar. This is a game.

Mark June 13, 20149:18 pm

Turning point…

Richard June 13, 20149:18 pm

Another great move from the Dutch. Robben bursts forward and the ball makes it’s way to Van Persie who drills a shot against the bar.

The Netherlands have found another gear here.

Ian June 13, 20149:17 pm

Apparently it’s contractual with the people who supplied the technology that they have to show that once a game, so they have to do it on the first goal in case there aren’t any more.

Terry June 13, 20149:16 pm

Not sure if Robben’s goal crossed the line. I need GLT confirmation.

Ian June 13, 20149:15 pm

The impression I got was that the referee saw it but didnt consider it a red card. And, if that’s the case, about bloody time too.

Richard June 13, 20149:15 pm

Another reason against GLT

Terry June 13, 20149:14 pm

If you’re going to nut someone you should do it properly.

Rob June 13, 20149:14 pm

Just think, if they had an official behind the line instead of goal line technology, he’d have spotted that.

Richard June 13, 20149:13 pm

It’s a bit weak though but he’d have to be sent off if the referee had seen it

Richard June 13, 20149:13 pm

Diego Costa has been accursed by Indi of headbutting him… the replay shows there is contact with intent

Richard June 13, 20149:11 pm

That’ll make the remainder of this match interesting (not that it hasn’t been so far)

Ted June 13, 20149:11 pm

Another Dutch goal, another floater. If you chuck in a floater, you win the games.

Terry June 13, 20149:11 pm

Two cracking diags from the Dutch, two goals.

Richard June 13, 20149:10 pm

And Arjen Robben makes it two for Netherlands. Another brilliant ball forward, followed by a great first touch.

He wriggled Pique there.

Terry June 13, 20149:10 pm

Robben with a typical cut inside. 2-1 Netherlands.

Terry June 13, 20149:07 pm

Iniesta checks out the wetness of the surface with a daisy cutter which Cillessen is equal to.

Terry June 13, 20149:03 pm

There is a decidedly moist feel about the opening rounds of the World Cup. We are back underway.

Terry June 13, 20148:59 pm

Yep. Nice paint job on that Manaus pitch. I wonder if they used applied an undercoat.

Ted June 13, 20148:53 pm

I bet Rio Ferdinand hasn’t even realised yet that his name, Rio, and the name of the city he’s in, Rio, are the same.

Terry June 13, 20148:53 pm

Cracking open the first beer of the evening and it’s Oranjeboom which readers of a certain age will recall is a lager and not a tune.

Ian June 13, 20148:49 pm

Holy shit, that was a fantastic pass for the Dutch goal. There’s a lesson to be learnt, there, kids. That’s what happens when you chuck in a floater.

Terry June 13, 20148:48 pm

Yep, Cillessen’s save was as good as an assist. Pleased about that equaliser. Sets up a tasty second half.

Mark June 13, 20148:48 pm

By the way, I was about to ask, before Van Persie SO rudely interrupted me…if “24” is not a hatful of caps, how big is the hat??

Richard June 13, 20148:47 pm

And we go in 1-1 at half time

Richard June 13, 20148:46 pm

That save from Cillessen – which we didn’t mention – looks even more important now.

Ted June 13, 20148:46 pm

Robin Van Persie learnt that header technique from a salmon swimming upstream to spawn, great stuff.

Mark June 13, 20148:46 pm

The L-shaped offside trap…

Terry June 13, 20148:46 pm

After spending all half making the runs, van Persie is finally rewarded with the right pass and we are blessed with a spectacular header.

Richard June 13, 20148:45 pm

Contender for goal of the tournament that!

Richard June 13, 20148:44 pm

Robin Van Persie levels it up with what could be the best heading technique I’ve ever seen.

Terry June 13, 20148:44 pm


Richard June 13, 20148:43 pm

How did Iniesta see that?

Ian June 13, 20148:31 pm

Ha ha ha, what the HELL is that goal-line technology thing they just showed?

Richard June 13, 20148:30 pm

Azpilicueta has been a lonely figure on the right for Spain. They are moving everything down the other flank.

Terry June 13, 20148:30 pm

Costa won the penalty but I think it was there to be won.

Richard June 13, 20148:30 pm

Cor, Alba is lightning

Mark June 13, 20148:29 pm

The advantage of having a “number nine” – can’t win a penalty if you are not in the area and able to stretch as far as Costa did to…er…”draw” that foul…

Richard June 13, 20148:29 pm

Costa definitely left it there on purpose.

Terry June 13, 20148:28 pm

Defo a trailing foot which de Vrij could have avoided, maybe.

Richard June 13, 20148:28 pm

Now I need to wash my brain!

Richard June 13, 20148:28 pm

Alonso slots the penalty past Cillessen into the bottom left. Just too far for the keeper to reach.

Ian June 13, 20148:27 pm

Well, that’s that, then.

*switches television off*

*gets naked*

Terry June 13, 20148:27 pm

Alonso to take … and score. 1-0 Spain.

Richard June 13, 20148:26 pm

De Vrij brings down Diego Costa in the box….

He definitely caught the trailing foot when Costa cut inside.

Terry June 13, 20148:26 pm

Penalty… apparently.

Ted June 13, 20148:25 pm

Spain have had nothing down the right, wails Mark Lawrenson. A reminder that General Franco missed out on the 23.

Terry June 13, 20148:19 pm

Robben’s playing a little narrower than he does for Bayern. So far no one has found van Persie.

Richard June 13, 20148:15 pm

Nigel “the beast” De Jong

Richard June 13, 20148:14 pm

I still can’t believe Casillas only played two La Liga matches this season

Terry June 13, 20148:13 pm

Ron Vlaar denies Diego Costa. I didn’t think I’d be writing that.

Terry June 13, 20148:12 pm

The Brazilians in the ground are making their view on Diego Costa clear.

Ted June 13, 20148:12 pm

You could almost see Sneijder pause for a split second before he realised the horror of the situation he was in.

Richard June 13, 20148:10 pm

I saw Robben in the Allianz opposite Leverkusen earlier this season (my first opportunity in the flesh) and he was disappointingly average…..

I know that has absolutely nothing to do with this evening.

Richard June 13, 20148:09 pm

Casillas made it look simple (as you’d expect)

Terry June 13, 20148:08 pm

Great ball from Robben to Sneijder and a decent save from Casillas.

Terry June 13, 20148:07 pm

Stoppages appear to have the upper hand in the early exchanges.

Richard June 13, 20148:06 pm

Wait until England line up tomorrow and you drop Rooney and Gerrard out of that same equation.

Ian June 13, 20148:06 pm

Other things of note about the Netherlands this evening. If you take Schneijder, Van Persie and Robben out of the equation, the other eight starting players for them tonight have only managed four international goals between them. Ever.

(Is this normal? It doesn’t seem normal)

Ted June 13, 20148:05 pm

Spain are in fact in their third kit, the all-white kit was requested by FIFA specifically for this match. World’s gone mad. Mad.

Terry June 13, 20148:05 pm

It’s early stages of the game so the director’s taking the time to get some close ups of the coaches looking intense, hiding their free copies of the Sun and whatnot.

Richard June 13, 20148:03 pm

Not a fan of both teams playing in their second kits.

Richard June 13, 20148:01 pm

Looks like we’ll all be supporting them tonight then. One of my closest family friends, and her family, live in Amsterdam

Richard June 13, 20148:00 pm

If this had audio I’d break out some Eiffel 65

Ted June 13, 20148:00 pm

The Netherlands line up 1-11, this made my nipples tingle

Terry June 13, 20148:00 pm

My wife is of the opinion that Ron Vlaar resembles Jason Statham.

Terry June 13, 20147:59 pm

My surname is Dutch (although I’m from Thornton Heath) so I almost always root for them.

Ian June 13, 20147:59 pm

Yeah, that blue kit is HOT.

Richard June 13, 20147:59 pm

I have to agree, their blue kit is a positive though

Ian June 13, 20147:58 pm

My default position for this is to support the Netherlands but, looking at the teamsheet, the Dutch really have some unlikeable players, don’t they?

Richard June 13, 20147:58 pm

Forgot how grey Robin Van Persie got during the turbulence of David Moyes

Terry June 13, 20147:56 pm

The Spanish national anthem there with its easy to learn lyrics.

Terry June 13, 20147:55 pm

I guess there maybe some question marks about Diego Costa’s fitness but if he’s on form, he could really breath new life into Spain… not that they need much of that.

Richard June 13, 20147:53 pm

I hope Nigel is as scrappy as the final

Richard June 13, 20147:53 pm

Losing Strootman is a huge loss for the Dutch but a back five is a bold decision for getting past that..

Richard June 13, 20147:51 pm

I think there may be some boo’s tonight.

Terry June 13, 20147:51 pm

The Netherlands were pretty awful in Euro 2012 but qualified with relative ease. Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder are the two best known attackers but, as with all World Cups, the value lies in watching players you don’t normally get the chance to see in the club season.

Terry June 13, 20147:50 pm

Also folk are curious to see how Brazilian born, Diego Costa reacts in a Brazilian stadium.

Terry June 13, 20147:50 pm

Ahoy ‘hoy! Lots of anticipation ahead of this match. Obviously it’s a remake of the 2010 Final (hopefully a better one that the original directed by Howard Webb) but it will be interesting to see if Spain have still got it after all these years. They have the talent but to they have the appetite.