Substitute see off Chile as Oranje take top spot

The Netherlands dug deep to edge Chile 2-0 and progress to the knockout stages as FIFA World Cup Group B winners.
With two wins apiece, both sides were already assured of a place in the round of 16, yet the intensity of proceedings was not compromised. It did, however, require two substitutes to get Louis van Gaal’s men over the line, as effervescent midfielder Leroy Fer struck 13 minutes from time before Memphis Depay added a simple second.
Without suspended captain Robin van Persie, the Oranje initially wilted under Chile’s relentless pressing. Buccaneering full-back Eugenio Mena optimised the South American’s endeavour, concluding a lung-bursting run with an inviting cross for Eduardo Vargas, who glanced over. There was no lack of ingenuity from Jorge Sampaoli’s side, either, as Felipe Gutiérrez drilled Alexis Sánchez’s low corner into Jasper Cillessen.
The Netherlands seldom threatened until Arjen Robben’s inswinging free-kick had Chile’s back line scrambling and Stefan de Vrij headed wide on the stretch. A trademark Robben run then set pulses racing, but his finish lacked punch as it trickled past the far post. Back came Chile, Gutiérrez touching Marcelo Díaz’s set piece off target when unmarked inside the box.
The second half was slow to ignite until Alexis Sánchez – seemingly trapped on the byline – weaved inside Jeremain Lens and stung the palms of Cillessen. At the other end, Chile custodian Claudio Bravo cradled a speculative effort from Robben as the FC Bayern München winger continued to probe.
The goal the match had been threatening shortly arrived as Fer met Robben’s pinpoint cross with equal precision. Robben was again the architect in added time, sweeping across goal for Depay to tap in.

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