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Netherlands have Man Utd target to thank for Australia win

| 18.06.2014

After a couple of 0-0 draws in as many days threatened to derail the goal-laden World Cup fun train, the Netherlands and Australia put it firmly back on the tracks with a pulsating match in Group B.

The Dutch eventually won 3-2 in a topsy-turvy affair graced by Tim Cahill’s early contender for the best goal of the tournament.

Louis van Gaal’s side are sitting pretty on six points after two group games and are now 9/1 to win the tournament as a whole.

However, the Socceroos severely rattled the Oranje, who needed a stunning display from substitute Memphis Depay to turn the game back in their favour after going 2-1 down.

The 20-year-old winger set up Robin van Persie for the Netherlands’ equaliser, before firing in the winner himself from 25 yards, although his goal was assisted by the limp wrists of Australia keeper Matthew Ryan.

His match-winning turn made Depay the first Dutch player in World Cup history to come off the bench and notch both a goal and an assist.

The PSV player turned heads across Europe with his excellent performances in the Eredivisie last season, and Manchester United, whose new manager is well aware of the youngster’s talent, are reportedly leading Premier League interest.

There have been a string of Dutch players linked with United since Van Gaal was appointed at Old Trafford, but Depay is perhaps the pick of the bunch.

No player completed more take ons than the left-winger’s 101 in the Eredivise last season, and only Dusan Tadic created more chances than his 86.

Depay registered 12 goals and seven assists for PSV in the league, a fine return for a player who was still a teenager for most of the campaign.

Judging by his sparkling display agains Australia, the World Cup will only serve to further his reputation and United might have to rely on the influence of their new manager to secure Depay this summer.

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Alex Fortune