Tim Cahill scored his second goal of this World Cup in spectacular fashion, providing Australia with a quick response to Arjen Robben's goal for the Netherlands just moments earlier. But Cahill then followed what will likely go down as one of this tournament's best goals with a yellow card that could make this the last World Cup match of his career since Australia were later eliminated with Spain's 2-0 loss to Chile.
Robben opened the scoring for the heavily favored Dutch by blowing through the Socceroos' suddenly invisible defense in the 20th minute. Before the celebrations were even over, Cahill stunned them with a powerful volley at the end of a looping pass from the middle of the field.
Just before halftime, the match took on a devastating new meaning for Cahill when he was shown a yellow card for clattering into Netherlands defender Bruno Martins Indi, who had to be taken off on a stretcher as a result. Since this was Cahill's second yellow card of the tournament, he will be banned for Australia's final group-stage match against Spain due to yellow card accumulation, likely making this the final World Cup match of the 34-year-old's distinguished career.
The former Everton and current New York Red Bulls midfielder previously scored his side's only goal in their 3-1 loss to Chile to start the tournament. He now has five World Cup goals in his career — half of Australia's all-time total.
Australia took an improbable 2-1 lead when captain Mile Jedinak converted a penalty awarded for a handball on the Dutch in the 54th minute. But this time it was Holland's turn to quickly strike back with a goal from Robin van Persie, who earlier earned a yellow card accumulation ban of his own, to make it 2-2 in the 58th minute. The Dutch then reclaimed their lead in the 68th minute with 20-year-old Memphis Depay's first international goal. Cahill was subbed off a minute later and the score held at 3-2 until the final whistle, sealing Australia's elimination from the tournament.
Van Persie scored the first best goal of the 2014 World Cup with his diving header against Spain, but now with Cahill's volley the debate can begin.
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