Van Gaal proud of Netherlands despite 'careless' win

The Oranje fought to victory over the Socceroos and the coach was thrilled with how his attackers - and specifically Robin van Persie - helped ensure back-to-back World Cup wins
Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal was proud of the way his players fought back to defeat Australia 3-2 on Wednesday, despite conceding that his team were "careless".

The Oranje have taken a giant stride towards qualification with the victory as goals from Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Memphis Depay denied a valiant Socceroos side, who led for a period in the second half.

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Van Gaal had plenty to criticise about the Dutch performance but stressed that his team's reaction in the final 45 minutes delighted him and refused to single out any specific man to praise.

"We were careless, took too many risks, played too many short passes when we should have played it long, we went forward too little - we had to change that," the future Manchester United manager said.

"But then I was pleased with how we reacted in the second half - our ball retention and the opportunities we created.

"My players had something to go for after the break, they looked more confident. Luckily, it went well, but it could not have.

"We had more chances on the second half and managed to win, so I must congratulate the team. We were in a bad situation and managed to turn it around. Every player was in part responsible for what we pulled off, I don’t want to individualise it."

Robin van Persie's goal, the equaliser in Porto Alegre, sparked the Group B giants into action, signalling the start of their comeback, and Van Gaal was over the moon that he had such a prolific striker in his World Cup ranks.

"We had five or six opportunities in the second half that I would have expected to go in and they missed a great chance," he continued. "I said: 'We’ll win, they can’t miss something like that'. And then Depay had a great goal, so I’m pleased.

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"It's great to have a striker like Van Persie, he's on three goals already. That is a fantastic tally after two games, and he scores very attractive goals which is good for the fans.

"If I were to say that ours was the best attack in the World Cup, though, then the next opponents will try to stop us with that as motivation.

"We have wonderful strikers, this is not for nothing - even in the qualifiers, we scored a lot. This is part of the Dutch school of playing, and something I believe in, not like you journalists."

Netherlands face Chile in their final game of their Group B campaign on Monday.