HOLLAND secured top spot in Group B yesterday after late goals from substitutes Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay steered them to victory over Chile in Sao Paulo.
Fer headed the ball in from Darryl Janmaat’s cross in the 77th minute, less than two minutes after the Norwich midfielder had entered the game.
Depay then got his second goal in two matches, finishing a Dutch break by converting Arjen Robben’s tee-up from close-range.
His goal in stoppage time wrapped up another three points for Louis van Gaal’s men and confirmed their 100 per cent record in the group.
Spain at least ensured the end of their golden era finished with a victory as they saw off Australia in something of a lacklustre dead-rubber match in Curitiba.
David Villa, one of a number of stars from a historic generation who will now call time on their international careers, scored his 59th and final international goal with one last touch of class before Fernando Torres and substitute Juan Mata made it comfortable after the break.
Neymar’s superb two-goal show inspired Brazil as the hosts eased through to the last 16, finishing top of Group A to set up a meeting with Chile.
The Barcelona forward scored two first-half goals as Cameroon were put to the sword in Brasilia, going down 4-1 in their third defeat in three group games.
Neymar is still only 22 and already has 35 goals in 52 caps to his name, and only Pele and Zico have a better goals-per-game average for Brazil but both those greats’ totals of 77 and 66 respectively look achievable for this prodigy.
His two goals put Brazil on their way and though Joel Matip’s first-time finish initially put Cameroon level, Fred and substitute Fernandinho put a gloss on the scoreline.
Mexico captain Rafael Marquez once again led by example to help carry his side into the last 16 with a 3-1 victory over Croatia which ended their hopes of qualifying from Group A.
The 35-year-old, captaining his country at a record fourth World Cup, superbly marshalled the tournament’s meanest defence against a team who had to win to go through and then popped up with the breakthrough goal.
Marquez’s powerful 72nd-minute header forced Croatia to push even harder and that played straight into Mexico’s hands as they added a further two in the next 10 minutes to set up a knockout tie against free-scoring Holland.
Andres Guadardo expertly converted a counter-attack move down the right before substitute Javier Hernandez put his frustrating season at Manchester United behind him by nodding in from close range.
Perisic’s well-taken consolation three minutes from time came too late to save Croatia from a World Cup exit,