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Against Dutch, Spain is wary of Robben redemption

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 11, 2014 at 11:10 am •  Published: June 11, 2014
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CURITIBA, Brazil (AP) — If there is one player Spain is wary of before its World Cup opener, it is Netherlands forward Arjen Robben.

Friday's Group B game not only offers a rematch of the 2010 final won by Spain, but a chance of redemption for the Dutch winger.

Robben was put clean through to face Iker Casillas at Soccer City but saw his effort deflected wide by the Spain goalkeeper in the final's best scoring opportunity until Andres Iniesta netted the extra-time winner.

Spain defender Javi Martinez said that moment has stayed with his Bayern Munich teammate, so the defending champions will be keeping a close eye on Robben in Salvador.

"Robben shakes his defender so well to find space, so we're going to have keep tabs on him," Martinez said on Wednesday.

While Martinez also pointed to Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder's ability to decide games, Spain knows that it's Robben who is the most eager to make up for his famous miss.

"(Robben and I) have talked about that moment," Martinez said. "It was a very tough moment for the Netherlands and especially to him, with that chance against Iker."

With Chile and Australia also in Group B, both Spain and the Netherlands know that a loss in the group opener would leave either team in a bind. Spain, though, lost its opening match against Switzerland in South Africa four years ago but rallied to win its first World Cup.

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