Stefan de Vrij also scored for the Netherlands, while Xabi Alonso scored Spain’s only goal.
Eleven of the players (seven Spanish players and four Dutch players) who started the match played when Spain and the Netherlands met in the 2010 World Cup final, with that match ending in Spain’s favour.
Wesley Sneijder, who was appearing in his 100th game for the Netherlands, had the first chance of the game but Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas dealt with the shot well.
Spain was awarded a controversial penalty after De Vrij clipped Diego Costa. Dutch fans felt that Costa had gone down too easily, but the referee felt that the tackle was sufficient to warrant a penalty. Alonso took the penalty, blasting it past Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
David Silva nearly made it 2-0 just before half time but Cillessen read the Manchester City midfielder’s intentions perfectly and kept the shot out.
A minute before half time, Van Persie provided the goal that levelled the score. A good pass from Daley Blind found Van Persie who headed the ball on the volley into the back of Casillas’s net.
The second half started in rainy conditions. The Netherlands adapted best to the situation, and soon pulled ahead through Robben.
Van Persie nearly made the score 3-1 after a powerful effort that beat Casillas hit the crossbar.
Just afterwards, De Vrij scored his first international goal, making up for giving away the penalty that resulted in Spain’s goal.
Van Persie took advantage of Casillas’s fumbling in the box to complete his brace. Eight minutes later, Robben completed his own brace to make the score 5-1.
Spain next face Chile in their second group match, while Netherlands take on Australia. Both matches will be played on Wednesday.