June 18, 2014 2:00 am

WORLD CUP: Netherlands stage 3-2 comeback in victory over Aussies

Memphis Depay of the Netherlands celebrates scoring his team's third goal with captain Robin van Persie as Ryan McGowan of Australia looks on.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – A second-half by strike by substitute Memphis Depay gave Netherlands a 3-2 comeback victory over Australia in an absorbing World Cup Group B match on Wednesday.

The result puts Netherlands into a strong position to advance to the last 16 with two wins, including the opening 5-1 rout of defending champion Spain. It almost surely puts Australia out of contention with two defeats.

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SEE MORE: Standings and schedule

The Dutch opened the scoring in the 20th minute through a Arjen Robben solo effort but Australia responded seconds later, with Tim Cahill’s stunning volley making it 1-1 before the halftime break.

Australia took a surprise lead with a penalty after Daryl Janmaat handled the ball but Robin Van Persie made it 2-2 after collecting the ball in space on the edge of the penalty area and shooting low.

READ MORE: ‘Persieing’ is the new planking — brilliant goal sparks online copycats

The Dutch are off to a promising start at the 2014 tournament, having trounced the defending World Cup champion Spain in the first match of Group B play last week. With two wins, Netherlands leads Group B and appears a lock to advance to the knock-out stage beginning July 4.

READ MORE: Netherlands erupts to trounce defending World Cup champs 5-1

Group B standings World Cup 2014 in Brazil

Dutch royalty

The Dutch royal family turned Porto Alegre’s Estadio Beira-Rio into a house of orange.

King Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima were in Brazil for Wednesday’s match between the Netherlands and Australia in the southern city.

The sports-loving royals joined thousands of orange-clad Dutch fans at the stadium and thousands more Australians in their team’s green and gold.

Fans of the Netherlands holds a replica of the World Cup trophy prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio

Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

It is almost a home game for Maxima, who was born and grew up in neighbouring Argentina.

Willem-Alexander and Maxima are regulars at sporting events like the Olympics when Dutch teams play. The king was a member of the International Olympic Committee before he ascended to the throne as head of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange, last year.

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