Sport World Cup

Monday 22 September 2014

PROUD ROBBEN URGES DUTCH TO MOVE ON

Published 14/06/2014 | 15:07

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Arjen Robben strikes past Sergio Ramos to score Holland's second goal against Spain, putting his side ahead. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images
Arjen Robben strikes past Sergio Ramos to score Holland's second goal against Spain, putting his side ahead. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Arjen Robben has warned there is little time to celebrate Holland's stunning defeat of champions Spain in their World Cup opener.

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The Dutch banished doubts about their quality with a sensational 5-1 thrashing of the all-conquering Spanish in their first Group B match in Salvador.

Holland had been underwhelming in their pre-tournament friendlies and were expected to face a tough battle to escape from a group that also includes the highly-rated Chile.

Such predictions are now being rethought after a result which sent shockwaves around the footballing world.

Robben and Robin van Persie both scored twice and Stefan de Vrij also netted as Holland recovered from 1-0 down in rampant and head-turning fashion.

But Robben told FIFA.com: "We need to stay focused and just keep doing what we have been doing. Tomorrow we start again."

Robben also played down his own exhilarating performance.

The 30-year-old Bayern Munich star was in blistering form, putting Holland ahead after an exquisite touch early in the second half and completing the scoring with a fine solo effort late on.

He said: "It's a fantastic feeling to have scored those goals, but I have to say, I'm just so proud of my team.

"It's always nice to score a couple of goals but I'm far prouder of the side. I'm proud of our performance because that's what really matters."

Holland can now look ahead to Wednesday's meeting with Australia in Porto Alegre with confidence.

There was little hint of what was to come as Xabi Alonso put Spain ahead with a 27th-minute penalty. Manchester City's David Silva also spurned a good opportunity to double the lead when he was just unable to lift his chip over Jasper Cillessen.

Holland levelled with a brilliant header from Van Persie just before the interval and Louis van Gaal's men then found another gear in the second half.

The win also saw Holland gain some measure of revenge for their loss to Spain in the final in Johannesburg four years ago.

Robben admits, however, it could never fully make amends. The former Chelsea winger himself remains haunted by the glorious chance he missed to settle the showpiece match inside the 90 minutes before Spain won it in extra-time.

Robben said: "You can't compare this game with that one from four years ago.

"Back then it was a final and this was a group match. But we played against the toughest opponents and, in pure footballing terms, the best team in the world. We matched them well and took our chances."

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