Netherlands, Spain look to next match

The Dutch look to build on the momentum of their win against Spain while Del Bosque's men hope to rediscover form.

    The Dutch were euphoric after the win that helped avenge their defeat by Spain in the 2010 World Cup final [AFP]
    The Dutch were euphoric after the win that helped avenge their defeat by Spain in the 2010 World Cup final [AFP]

    The Netherlands team has to come back down to earth while Spain has to pick themselves up and look for a way to bounce back from one of their worst defeats.

    The morning after the rampant Netherlands beat reigning World Cup champions Spain 5-1, emotions in the two camps were starkly different, yet the emphasis for both vastly experienced coaches was the same: refocus on the next Group B match at the World Cup.

    We have to be a team, that's what made us world champions and two-time European champions and that's what we need to remain.

    Fernando Torres, Spain striker

    Louis van Gaal's team were euphoric after the win that helped avenge their defeat by Spain in the 2010 World Cup final, but the coach stressed that his players still have plenty of work to do, starting with the next game.

    "We don't have anything yet," Van Gaal said. "We've made a pretty start. If you beat Australia, then you've made a good start."

    After going behind to a Xabi Alonso penalty, Robin van Persie equalised just before half-time with a stunning header that dramatically swung the momentum toward the Netherlands.

    The Dutch rout raised questions about the ageing world and European champion team's stamina.

    Spain target Chile 

    The Dutch play Australia next in Porto Alegre on June 18; Spain take on Chile in Rio on the same day.

    "We need to recover. We're defending champions and two-time European champions," defender Gerard Pique said after the match at Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova. "We have to go out and beat Chile."

    While their thrashing was still soaking into the Spaniards, Chile beat Australia 3-1 in Cuiaba, scoring two early goals then hanging on as the Socceroos rallied.

    But Vicente Del Bosque's team know how to recover from slow starts after they lost their first match in South Africa four years ago and went on to win the title.

    "We have to be a team, that's what made us world champions and two-time European champions and that's what we need to remain,'' said Fernando Torres.

    "You can't point fingers. We have to learn from our errors." Van Persie summed up the mood in the Dutch camp.

    "It's only three points, that's also the reality," he said. "But we have to enjoy it."

    SOURCE: AP


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