Netherlands have topped Group B after a hard earned 2-0 win over Chile on Wednesday night.

  • By Michael Bell
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robben aLouis van Gaal once again started the game in a 5-3-2 formation, but Dirk Kuyt started at left back, and Jeremain Lens came in for the suspended Robin van Persie up front.

The first half saw Netherlands allow Chile to have a lot of the ball, but the South American’s two best chances came from set pieces with Felipe Gutierrez firing over from a well worked corner, before the midfielder was allowed space to head a free kick wide.

At the other end, Arjen Robben was again the Netherlands biggest threat with the winger firing just wide after a great run from the half way line.

In the second half, Netherlands showed more urgency going forward, but still maintained Chile with Nigel de Jong having a perfect game from the bench.

Louis van Gaal then brought on winger Memphis Depay and Leroy Fer off the bench, and the coach’s choices changed the game in Netherlands favour.

On 77 minutes Depay won a corner with a brilliant long range effort, and from the resulting set piece Leroy Fer rose to head Netherlands into the lead.

Then with Chile pressing in injury time, Nigel de Jong set Arjen Robben down the left wing, and his cross was tapped into the net by Memphis Depay to make it 2-0.

It was the perfect way to end the group stages for Netherlands, and they will probably avoid Brazil in the next round, with Croatia or Mexico a likely opponent in the first knockout round.

Netherlands may have been written off before the tournament, but Van Gaal’s boys keep rolling on, and who would bet against them lining up in the final next month?

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