Sports

Netherlands comes back to beat Australia 3-2 in World Cup Group B match

  • Netherlands' Arjen Robben, front, scores the opening goal past Australia's Matthew Spiranovic, right, and Australia's goalkeeper Mat Ryan, back, during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and the Netherlands at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.  (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Netherlands' Arjen Robben, front, scores the opening goal past Australia's Matthew Spiranovic, right, and Australia's goalkeeper Mat Ryan, back, during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and the Netherlands at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • Australia's Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and the Netherlands at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Australia's Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the group B World Cup soccer match between Australia and the Netherlands at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)  (The Associated Press)

A second-half by strike by substitute Memphis Depay gave Netherlands a 3-2 comeback victory over Australia in an absorbing World Cup Group B match on Wednesday.

The result puts Netherlands into a strong position to advance to the last 16 with two wins, including the opening 5-1 rout of defending champion Spain. It almost surely puts Australia out of contention with two defeats.

The Dutch opened the scoring in the 20th minute through a Arjen Robben solo effort but Australia responded seconds later, with Tim Cahill's stunning volley making it 1-1 before the halftime break.

Australia took a surprise lead with a penalty after Daryl Janmaat handled the ball but Robin Van Persie made it 2-2 after collecting the ball in space on the edge of the penalty area and shooting low.