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World Cup Group B

Robben through, Javi out

Wednesday evening brought joy and despair in equal measure for two top Bayern stars. Arjen Robben scored in the Netherlands’ 3–2 victory over Australia as Louis van Gaal’s team progressed to the last sixteen at the World Cup in Brazil, but Javi Martínez and Spain crashed out of the tournament following a 2–0 defeat to Chile, the reigning world and European champions’ second group stage loss.

Following their impressive 5–1 demolition of the Spanish, there was plenty more entertainment in the Netherlands’ second match, although the men in orange were not on top form and were pushed all the way in Porto Alegre by the muscular and surprisingly skilful Australians. Robben capped a wonderful solo run in the 20th minute to score his third goal of the tournament and hand his side the lead.

Robben: That wasn't good

“It's a dangerous situation after you've beaten the world champions 5–1. People treat you as favourites, but we’re not," commented Robben, “that wasn't good, but what matters is the three points." The Australians more than matched their illustrious opponents for long spells, equalising in the 21st minute with a superb Tim Cahill strike and taking the lead ten minutes into the second half through a Mile Jedinak penalty. But Van Gaal’s team fought back and edged the victory through Robin van Persie (58) and Memphis Depay (68).

In stark contrast, the out-of-sorts Spanish never got going against Chile, Martínez, preferred at centre-back to Barça star Gerard Piqué, was as powerless as his team-mates to prevent the hard-running South Americans from recording a famous victory. Eduardo Vargas (20) and Charles Aranguiz (43) scored the first half goals as the Chileans ran up an ultimately deserved success.

In the group standings the Dutch and Chile are level at the top on six points and face each other on the final matchday in a showdown for top spot. Both the Spanish and the Australians have no points and will play for pride alone. “I never thought we'd be leaving the World Cup after the first stage," lamented under-fire Spain boss Vicente del Bosque.

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