World Cup Capsules
SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — The Netherlands thrashed Spain 5-1 Friday in the World Cup’s first shocker, toying with an aging team that has dominated global football for the past six years and avenging a loss in the 2010 final.
Although Spain could still advance out of the group stage, the game may have signaled the end of the run by a generation of Spanish stars whose quick passing, “tiki-taka” style delighted the world and helped them win the last three major tournaments.
Dutch strikers Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben both scored twice, including Van Persie’s diving header from an audacious 40-yard pass. The ball looped over hapless Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas as Van Persie slid on his stomach on the wet grass before running to the sidelines with his fists clenched to celebrate what is sure to be one of the goals of the tournament.
Defender Stefan de Vrij also scored — his first international goal — in a dominating second half that had the orange-clad Dutch fans in Arena Fonte Nova on their feet the whole time.
It was the worst loss for Spain in the game’s showcase tournament since a 6-1 defeat to Brazil in 1950.
CHILE 3, AUSTRALIA 1
CUIABA, Brazil (AP) — Alexis Sanchez produced a dynamic performance to lead Chile to a 3-1 win over Australia in the World Cup on Friday, scoring one goal and setting up another for one of the dangerous outsiders in the tournament.
Chile threatened to run away with the game in muggy Cuiaba when Sanchez poked home from close range in the 12th minute, before setting up Jorge Valdivia barely a minute later for the playmaker to finish from the edge of the area.
But Australia recovered well, responding with a trademark headed goal by star forward Tim Cahill in the 35th and giving the Chileans a string of scares in the second half. However, Jean Beausejour put the game away for Chile in injury time to help the South Americans level on three points in Group B with the Netherlands, which thrashed Spain 5-1 earlier Friday.
MEXICO 1, CAMEROON 0
NATAL, Brazil (AP) — Mexico overcame the torrential rain and two disallowed goals to beat Cameroon 1-0 on Friday, picking up the three points it needed to have any chance of advancing from a tough group at the World Cup.
Oribe Peralta scored in the 61st minute, giving Mexico its first win over win over an African team at the World Cup and justifying coach Miguel Herrera’s decision to start him ahead of striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, arguably the country’s best known player.
Giovanni Dos Santos twice put the ball in the net in the first half hour, only to have both efforts called back. He was ruled offside in the 11th minute and his header from a corner in the 29th was denied when referee Wilmar Roldan apparently called a foul in front of Itandje.
“We could have scored more, but unfortunately we’re not used to these conditions,” Herrera said. “Frankly, the refereeing took away two clear goals, but at the end of the day you’ve got to work for it, and we get to the next match with three points and very high spirits.”
Tournament host and favorite Brazil leads the group after a 3-1 win over Croatia in the opening game.