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Netherlands in top of Group B

photo by Agency photo

Arjen Robben of the Netherlands celebrates after the 2-0 win in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Netherlands and Chile at Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Monday.

By Agency
25th-Jun-2014       
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There are only four days at any World Cup when it's possible for teams to play with their fates already decided, when a side can know before kickoff whether it will be heading home or sticking around.
Monday, when the Netherlands faced Chile in São Paulo, was the first of them here in Brazil.
And while a 2-0 victory for the Dutch didn't send Chile packing, it did condemn La Roja to a likely knockout-round matchup with Brazil for the second time in two World Cups. Brazil would top Group A by beating Cameroon later in the day.
The reward for the Netherlands' pair of late goals will be facing Group A's runner-up-likely the winner of Monday evening's Croatia-Mexico game. The result was entirely unaffected by Group B's other game-Spain beat Australia 3-0-since both sides were already eliminated.
"We are not really busy with that at the moment," said Netherlands winger Arjen Robben, who captained the side in place of the suspended Robin van Persie. "I think we have to enjoy this evening. We've won the game. We've done our job."
So much of the Dutch soccer tradition is built around keeping the ball, but the Oranje have taken the opposite approach with a counterattacking style-much to the chagrin of many fans back home before the tournament. But it's hard to argue with the results of coach Louis van Gaal's new system, which he only implemented in the past month. The Dutch are the first team at the tournament to qualify with the maximum nine points.
"This is the proof. We're not giving away very much and we're always creating," van Gaal said in Dutch. "And for a coach, it's nice to see that it's producing results. If that was not the case, you would have chopped off my head."
Still, even by those standards, van Gaal felt that his side surrendered too much possession throughout this dull game-Chile held the ball for more than twice as long as the Netherlands.

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