SALVADOR, Brazil - Two goals each by Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben helped the Netherlands destroy world and European champions Spain 5-1 in a sensational World Cup Group B opener on Friday - a repeat of the 2010 final.
Spain, who lost their opening game of the 2010 tournament to Switzerland, went ahead with a 27th-minute Xabi Alonso penalty but Dutch captain Van Persie equalized with an audacious diving, looping header a minute before the break.
The Netherlands, playing with swagger and working tirelessly to close down the holders, went ahead in the 53rd minute when Robben pulled down a long ball from Daley Blind, delivered his trademark cutback and swept the ball home.
Stefan de Vrij bundled in the third in the 64th minute, Van Persie, who also crashed a shot against the bar, got the fourth following a blunder by Spain keeper Iker Casillas and Robben completed the amazing victory in the 80th minute.
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