The Netherlands are through to the knockout stage after substitute Memphis Depay's speculative shot earned them a 3-2 FIFA World Cup Group B win against Australia, who gave the Oranje a torrid time in Porto Alegre.
Substitute Depay tried his luck from distance on 68 minutes, and the bounce deceived Australia's Matthew Ryan, who allowed the ball to slip past him and into the left-hand corner of his net. Spain's 2-0 defeat to Chile in the other Group B game means that the Netherlands are certain to finish in one of the top two places in the section.
However, Louis van Gaal's side were a shadow of the team that shredded Spain 5-1 in their opening match. Australia had been the better side before Arjen Robben tore through from the halfway line to send a tidy shot across Club Brugge KV goalkeeper Ryan and into the net on 20 minutes. Barely a minute later, Tim Cahill provided a thunderous response, volleying in off the underside of the crossbar from Ryan McGowan's lofted ball from the right.
However, it took just nine minutes after the restart for Australia to get the second goal their performance arguably deserved, Crystal Palace FC midfielder Mile Jedinak showing barely a trace of nerves as he slotted a 54th-minute penalty low to Jasper Cillessen's left after Daryl Janmaat had been penalised for handball.
The Dutch swiftly recovered, Depay's ball into the box inviting Robin van Persie to spin and steady himself before drilling the ball past Ryan from ten metres – his 11th goal in his last ten appearances for his country. Depay then struck again as Van Gaal's men belatedly recovered their spirit.
Bookings for Cahill and Van Persie either side of the break mean both players will miss their teams' concluding Group B matches, against Spain and Chile respectively.