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World Cup: Netherlands edges out Australia in five-goal thriller

By James Masters, CNN
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Germany's Mario Gotze scores the goal that would decide the World Cup final Sunday, July 13, in Rio de Janeiro. Gotze, a late substitute, scored the goal in extra time as Germany won 1-0. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored in the World Cup. Germany's Mario Gotze scores the goal that would decide the World Cup final Sunday, July 13, in Rio de Janeiro. Gotze, a late substitute, scored the goal in extra time as Germany won 1-0. Click through the gallery to see all the goals scored in the World Cup.
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Goooal! Keeping score at the World Cup
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Netherlands defeats Australia 3-2 in Porto Alegre
  • Australia had come from goal down to lead 2-1
  • Tim Cahill scores goal of the tournament
  • Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben on target for Netherlands

How are you celebrating the World Cup? Join the global conversation on CNN's Facebook Pulse

(CNN) -- The World Cup has provided an all you can eat buffet when it comes to goals -- but in a tournament which constantly manages to amaze, the latest item on the menu in Brazil was akin to a feast.

Those fortunate enough to witness this enthralling contest between the attacking talent of the Dutch and the never-say-die attitude of the Australians were arguably treated to the game of the tournament so far.

The Netherlands, which had trailed 2-1 after Mile Jedinak's penalty had given Australia shock 54th minute lead, eventually prevailed 3-2 in a pulsating and often breathtaking affair.

Substiute Memphis Depay was the hero for the Dutch, becoming his country's youngest ever World Cup scorer, lashing home the winner just 10 minutes after Robin van Persie had dragged his side level.

Last Friday, Netherlands brought the tournament to life with one of the greatest results in recent World Cup history.

Not only did it defeat the reigning champion, it dragged it off its throne kicking and screaming while Spanish faces were left red with humiliation.

It was sweet revenge for the Dutch, which came so close four years ago only to lose out to Andres Iniesta's winner in Johannesburg.

Under the guidance of coach Louis van Gaal, who will join Manchester United after the tournament, this current crop of players has emerged as a new force on the world stage.

While the likes of Arjen Robben, Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder remain, the exciting youthful talent of Daley Blind and defender Bruno Martins Indi represents the next generation.

There were some who didn't think the Netherlands would even make it out of the group, let alone launch a World Cup challenge.

While the Dutch should qualify comfortably from its group, it will take a huge effort to thrill as its players have in its opening two games.

Australia, which battled gamely during its 3-1 defeat by Chile in its opening game, arrived knowing anything but a victory would make progress almost impossible.

Like so many of it sporting teams, Australia has a side which refuses to give up hope.

When Robben ran through the heart of the Australian defense and fired into the bottom corner with 19 minutes played, it seemed a case of how many goals the Dutch could rattle in.

Australia's talisman Tim Cahill had other ideas.

Just seconds after restarting the game, Ryan McGowan sent a pinpoint cross into the Dutch penalty area where Cahill met it with an unstoppable left-footed -- a goal reminiscent of Marco van Basten's wonder strike for the Netherlands at the 1988 European Championship finals.

Cahill's fifth World Cup goal - and possibly his last -- was worth the entrance fee alone.

The 34-year-old will miss his side's final group game against Spain after picking up a suspension -- not that you would have known it from his performance.

Buoyed by the equalizer, Australia began to push forward and Mark Bresciano missed a golden opportunity to put his side ahead after lashing over from 18-yards.

And when Daryl Janmaat inadvertently handled inside his own penalty area, Jedinak swept home from 12-yards to give his side a shock lead.

From thrashing the world champion 5-1 to trailing the lowest ranked side in the tournament, the Dutch were rocking.

Australia, playing with a confidence which belied its lowly ranking, appeared set to claim one of the most famous results in its history.

But the Dutch weren't done yet and four minutes later it drew level when van Persie rifled home from just inside the penalty area.

As the game moved breathlessly from one end to the other, Matthew Leckie should have put Australia back in front but could only send his effort straight at the goalkeeper from close-range.

It was a costly miss which as just minutes later the Dutch moved ahead once again.

Depay burst forward towards the penalty area and his low effort flew in off the fingertips off Australia goalkeeper Matthew Ryan.

There was still time for Nigel de Jong and Jermaine Lens to go close -- but the goals dried up -- for now anyway.

Read: What to expect Wednesday at the World Cup

Read: The unbelievable plot to eliminate Brazil

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