Netherlands thrashes Spain 5-1 in World Cup opener

Written By By MIKE CORDER Associated Press Posted: 06/13/2014, 04:00pm
Array Netherlands' Robin van Persie celebrates with Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal after scoring a goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at the Arena Ponte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

SALVADOR, Brazil — The Netherlands tore Spain apart in a dominant second half performance to thrash the defending World Cup champion 5-1 on Friday and gain a measure of revenge for its 2010 World Cup final loss to Vicente Del Bosque’s team.

Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben both scored twice and defender Stefan de Vrij grabbed his first international goal in a humiliating defeat for a Spain team that has won its last three major tournaments.

Spain tumbled to its second consecutive loss in the opening match of a World Cup and its heaviest defeat in the game’s showcase tournament since capitulating 6-1 to Brazil in 1950.

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