Irresistible Oranje mark the end of an era

As kick off at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia edges closer every day, we at thought we would whet your appetite for the action.

With some outstanding games in store across June and July, we are going to focus in on highlights from some of the most memorable encounters from four years ago.

We were treated to excitement, drama and an avalanche of goals at Brazil 2014, so what better way to get your imagination flowing for what may be around the corner this time!

Spain 1-5 Netherlands 13 June, Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador Alonso (27’); Van Persie (44’, 72’), Robben (53’, 80’), De Vrij (65’)

On just the second day of the tournament, fans were treated to a rematch of the previous final, with Spain having only furthered their supremacy having retained the European Championship following their maiden World Cup win. Unsurprisingly, the Netherlands were out for revenge.

After Diego Costa was brought down in the first half to give Xabi Alonso the chance to score from 12 yards, it looked set to be another day where Roja would trump Oranje. However, a Robin van Persie diving header on the stoke of half-time – which would later be nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award – set up an unforgettable second period for Louis van Gaal’s side.

When Arjen Robben rounded Iker Casillas for the fifth, it marked the end of a glorious era of Spanish dominance.