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Netherlands down Chile to top Group B

Last updated on: June 23, 2014 23:51 IST

Memphis Depay of the Netherlands celebrates scoring his team's second goal against ChileA powerful and pacey Netherlands beat Chile 2-0 on Monday in a match that burst into life late on, securing them top spot in World Cup Group B and meaning they look set to avoid hosts Brazil in the last 16.

Substitute Leroy Fer scored with his first touch of the game, thumping home a close-range header from Daryl Janmaat's cross in the 77th minute.

Another replacement, Memphis Depay, made it two in stoppage time after a marauding Arjen Robben broke down the left, turning what had been a scrappy match short of goal-mouth action into a comfortable win for the Dutch.

- Points Table

The Netherlands ended the group stage on a perfect nine points with Chile behind them on six.

Reigning champions Spain finished third on three points after beating Australia 3-0 in the other Group B match.

Chile, knowing only a win would secure top spot owing to an inferior goal difference, pressed hardest in the first half and bossed possession but they failed to hit the target once.

The second half was not much better for the South Americans, who were clearly missing the influential Arturo Vidal in midfield and failed to match the heights of their shock 2-0 win over Spain in the previous game.

Alexis Sanchez dropped deep and worked hard to pull the strings in the middle, but the men in orange were more than equal to the task and frustrated Chile.

The Netherlands won without in-form striker Robin Van Persie, who was suspended for two yellow cards.

But Robben was excellent again, launching a series of searing runs that threatened the Chile defence before his perfect cross sealed the three points.

Chile are now most likely to face Brazil in the last 16 on Saturday, while the Netherlands are expected to face either Croatia or Mexico the day after.

Chile's best result at a World Cup came on home soil in 1962, when they finished third.

In 1998 and 2010 they reached the last 16, only to exit at the hands of Brazil on both occasions.

- Complete coverage of the football World Cup

Image: The Netherlands' Memphis Depay celebrates scoring his team's second goal against Chile.

Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

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