The Australians were impressive in their World Cup opening game against Chile, but they faced an even tougher task taking on the Netherlands. The Dutch team dominated the defending World Cup champions Spain winning 5-1.
It looked like the Socceroos were going to be overmatched and outgunned in their second game of the tournament but things got off to a pretty solid start for the Australians.
Dutch forward Arjen Robben went on a blazing run in the 20th minute, and was able to score with a left-footed shot to the far post. It looked like the Dutch goal scoring juggernaut was turned on and about to run wild over the Australians.
Just 70 seconds later, the Netherlands found themselves back at square one level with the Socceroos. Australian forward Tim Cahill struck a volley beautifully and it rifled into the goal just under the cross bar. It is arguably one of the best goals of the World Cup already.
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Things got better for the Socceroos in the second half. In the 53rd minute they were awarded a penalty when Daryl Janmaat was called for a handball in the box. It looked accidental but the call was made and the kick given.
Mile Jedinak stepped up to the spot burying the ball in the back of the net.
The Netherlands responded quickly, getting an equalizing goal just four minutes later with a goal from captain Robin van Persie. That goal gave the Netherlands a sigh of relief and allowed their nerves to calm a bit after the surprising turn of events in the game.
Roughly 10 minutes later, the Netherlands got the lead for just the second time in the game and the first time since the 20th minute with a strike from Memphis Depay. He was remarkably far ou, maybe 30 yards, though dead in front of goal.
The strike wasn’t that hard and was hitting the ground right as it reached the keeper and curled a bit. The Australian keeper couldn’t keep it out and the ball went in to give the Netherlands the lead. That lead and scoreline held for the rest of the game and the Dutch were able to escape with a win.
They stay at the top of the table with six points.