The Netherlands had to work much harder for victory over the World Cup's lowest-ranked team than it did against the defending world and European champion.
A goalkeeping blunder by Maty Ryan handed substitute Memphis Depay his first international goal and the Netherlands the winner Wednesday after a spirited Australia had brought the Dutch back down to earth with a bump following their 5-1 thrashing of Spain in their Group B opener.
Arjen Robben opened the scoring before Tim Cahill's stunning volley brought the sides level a minute later. Mile Jedinak then converted a 54th minute penalty and Robin van Persie equalized with his third goal of the tournament.
Depay's speculative long-range shot beat Ryan in the 68th to give the Dutch a 3-2 victory.