Netherlands downs Australia, earns ticket to World Cup round of 16

The Dutch outgunned Australia, 3-2, giving them a whopping eight goals in two World Cup games

The Netherlands have become appointment viewing for soccer devotees who crave scoring at a rat-a-tat pace.

The Dutch outgunned Australia, 3-2, giving them a whopping eight goals in two World Cup games. Some major league baseball teams would envy such output.

The result brings certainty to the immediate Cup future of both sides. The Netherlands is the first team assured of promotion to the round of 16, while the Aussies will return to Down Under after their remaining group play match.

The game could serve as a tutorial on the cruelty of some soccer rules.

Forwards Robin van Persie (Netherlands) and Tim Cahill (Australia) were slapped with their second yellow cards of the tournament, rendering them idled for their teams' next outing.

For van Persie, the suspension compromises his chance to acquire the Golden Boot Award for top scorer at the Cup. His third goal in Brazil pulled the Dutch into a 2-2 tie Wednesday.

For Cahill, the ramifications could be more severe. At the advanced age of 34, he might have completed his Cup career.

If so, Cahill can console himself with the memory of a sensational strike against the Dutch. The standout with the MLS' Red Bulls controlled a long, pinpoint pass from Ryan McGowan and, with his off (left) foot, pummeled a one-timer into the attic of the net.

The Aussies' other goal resulted from a penalty kick off a handball by Daryl Janmaat in the penalty area. Though the touch was inadvertent, it's an automatic call, and the Dutch eventually needed to unleash their full offensive force to twice climb out of one-goal holes.

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