World Cup: Holland execute Van Gaal plan to secure top spot

 
Frank Dalleres
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HOLLAND 2 CHILE 0
AUSTRALIA 0 SPAIN 3

HOLLAND coach Louis van Gaal savoured a well-executed gameplan after his side struck twice against Chile in the last quarter of an hour to qualify as group winners and set up a tie with Mexico.

Both goals came from substitutes – Norwich midfielder Leroy Fer and PSV Eindhoven youngster Memphis Depay – as the Dutch sank the South Americans, who will now meet Brazil in the last 16.

Chile looked more dangerous for much of the match, with a Holland side missing captain and striker Robin van Persie content to play on the counter, but Van Gaal insisted that had been his plan all along.

“We have analysed this,” said the new Manchester United manager.

“Chile always give you more space in the last 15 minutes.”

Winger Arjen Robben dragged a shot wide following a piercing run just before half-time, while Chile threatened from set-pieces and had two penalty claims rejected before the deadline was broken by Fer’s unmarked but powerful header.

Depay, who came off the bench to score the winner against Australia, made another telling contribution in stoppage time when he met Robben’s cross after a lightning break from the Bayern Munich star.

Deposed holders Spain notched their first points of a failed campaign in a 3-0 defeat of Australia, the other game in Group B yesterday.

Veteran striker David Villa’s backheeled first was followed by close-range finishes from Chelsea’s Fernando Torres and Manchester United’s Juan Mata.