By Andrew Downie
SAO PAULO, June 23 (Reuters) - It was a dream start to the World Cup for young Netherlands midfielder Leroy Fer.
The 24-year-old scored with his first touch of the ball to put the Dutch ahead in a tense Group B game against Chile at the Corinthians arena on Monday and Memphis Depay added a second in stoppage-time to seal a 2-0 win.
Fer replaced Wesley Sneijder in the 75th minute and was on hand to powerfully head home a cross just two minutes later.
Coach Louis van Gaal praised the Norwich City midfielder, whose muscular 1.88-metre frame has earned him the nickname "The Bouncer", and said his aerial prowess was always a threat against the diminutive Chilean side.
"Of course, I know that Leroy Fer can shoot from far out and can move forward on opponents, I know he is good with headers and that gives you have an advantage against Chile," Van Gaal said.
Fer, whose goal was his first in seven internationals, was all smiles after the game and said the experience was new and very welcome.
"This is the World Cup," he told reporters, adding that he had promised to give his match jersey to his mum.
"It is bigger, it's special."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
- Sports & Recreation
- Wesley Sneijder
- Leroy Fer
- Memphis Depay