Spain and Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas had one of the worst nights of his career on Friday as an error prone performance allowed Holland to rout the reigning World Cup champions 5-1.
Vicente del Bosque’s side had taken the lead after 27 minutes when Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso converted a penalty, Diego Costa having been fouled in the area. Robin Van Persie equalised just before half time with a brilliant header.
And the Dutch, with former Los Blancos winger Arjen Robben in inspired form, ripped Spain to shreds in the second half to get revenge for the defeat in the final four years ago.
Robben put Holland 2-1 up after the break with a cool finish, although Sergio Ramos didn’t exactly cover himself in glory having been found out of position. Stefan de Vrij forced in a third from Wesley Sneijder’s free-kick, and Casillas will feel he should have done better there, succumbing meekly to a challenge at the back post by van Persie.
But the fourth goal was the most horrendous for the 32-year-old Los Blancos legend. Taking a routine back pass, he took a heavy touch, and a delighted van Persie stole the ball from his feet to poke it into an open goal. Robben scored a brilliant solo effort moments later to complete the humbling.
Speaking after the game, Casillas said he was to blame for the loss and hie performance was not up to scratch.
“I wasn’t at the level I needed to be. I have to accept all criticism,” admitted the Copa del Rey and Champions League winner. “I didn’t do things like I should have, especially to start a World Cup. It wasn’t one of my best games.”
Former Real Madrid manager del Bosque refused to blame Casillas, saying everyone had to look at their performances.
“When a team loses a match it’s not just the performance of one single player, its a weakness in the total squad. We can’t blame anyone, least of all Iker Casillas,” he stated.
And he continued: “I feel sick, ill at ease, but with the courage a defeat must not sink us. It is not a happy moment, but first of all I want to congratulate the Dutch team, who were superior to us. We have been overwhelmed. We are a team of good professionals and good lads – everyone hurts. There will be time to talk.”