Sao Paulo, June 23: Leroy Fer scored a minute after coming on as a substitute to help give the Netherlands a 2-0 victory over Chile on Monday and top Group B at the World Cup with three consecutive wins.
Fer had only just replaced Wesley Sneijder when he rose almost unmarked in the Chile penalty area to put the Dutch ahead with a powerful 77th-minute header. Another substitute, Memphis Depay, then finished off a counterattack in injury time to double the lead.
Both teams had already advanced to the second round, but Chile’s first loss of the tournament consigned it to second place in Group B.
The Dutch now travel to Fortaleza to play the Group A runner-up in the round of 16. Chile faces the Group A winner.
Neymar Brace Powers Brazil Into Last 16
Neymar scored a brilliant brace as Brazil beat Cameroon 4-1 on Monday to secure top spot in World Cup Group A and a last-16 tie against Chile.
The Barcelona forward scored the 100th goal of the tournament in Brazil’s 100th World Cup finals match to put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute. He restored their lead before the interval after Joel Matip had equalised for Cameroon.
Fred got Brazil’s third early in the second half with substitute Fernandinho adding a late fourth.
Brazil’s win, combined with Mexico’s 3-1 victory against Croatia in the other Group A game in Recife, ensured that they progress as group winners, ahead of Mexico on goal difference.
Brazil were much stronger, but head into Saturday’s game against Chile in Belo Horizonte knowing that they can still improve.
Cameroon were already out of the tournament after losing their opening two matches, but the Indomitable Lions had the advantage of playing without any pressure.
Volker Finke’s men passed the ball confidently early on and Vincent Aboubakar gave the hosts something to think about with a shot that was blocked by Marcelo, but it was Brazil who took the lead.
The opening goal came as a huge release for Brazil and their fans in the crowd of over 69,000.
Neymar’s coolly sidefooted into the far corner of the net first-time from a low Luiz Gustavo cross.
However, the goal owed as much to the industry and craft of Luiz Gustavo, who did superbly to rob possession from Benjamin Moukandjo on the left before delivering a pinpoint ball.
It was the first time in the tournament that Scolari’s side had scored the first goal of a game, and both Neymar and Fred came close to increasing their advantage, the latter lunging desperately to connect with a Paulinho cross but unable to scramble the ball home.