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13th-Jun-2014

We need to avoid Brazil: Van Hooijdonk

By Agency

When Group B gets underway on Friday, with the eagerly anticipated tie between Spain and the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ Final, the stakes may not be as high as the last time the sides met at the tournament.  However, for former Oranje striker Pierre van Hooijdonk, the occasion still offers his compatriots more than just a chance for revenge.
"If you look at the match schedule and look ahead to the next round than it's clear that we need to win the group," the 44-year-old told FIFA.com. "That would mean we'd be likely to avoid playing Brazil and it'd be difficult to face the hosts. The important thing is not to lose the first game so that you don't put yourself under pressure straight away for the second match."

The fact that Spain are the Netherlands' first opponents certainly adds extra spice to the encounter, and memories of the Dutch defeat in Johannesburg are still fresh for Van Hooijdonk.
"It was a huge disappointment and then with the next World Cup on the horizon, the same two teams were pitted against each other again," the 46-time international said of the moment the group-stage draw was made.