World Cup: Socceroos must start strong - goalkeeper Mat Ryan

Robin van Persie greets children at a training session in Rio de Janeiro. Picture: REUTERS

Robin van Persie greets children at a training session in Rio de Janeiro. Picture: REUTERS

WORLD CUP 2014

They put five goals past world champions Spain but far from being intimidated by the Netherlands, Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan insists it's just proof anything can happen at the World Cup.

Spain suffered a nightmare start to their title defence as Dutch strikers Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben staged a blistering assault, tearing through their defence and past hapless goalkeeper Iker Casillas for a 5-1 win.

Fresh off their 3-1 loss to Chile in Cuiaba on Friday Australia are now preparing to face Holland in Porto Alegre on Thursday.

Chile took advantage of a shaky start from the Socceroos to go 2-0 up inside the first 15 minutes.

Ryan said this time around it's crucial to start strong.

"Spain's loss highlights that anything can happen at a World Cup," he said.

"They have been dominant the last few years and they got touched up.

"I didn't get to see much of the game or what unfolded but we'll review our game, look at the tape and take the positives out of it and work on the negatives.

"If we get our start right the next game I think we'll be in with a better shot.

"Hopefully we come out against Holland a lot more positive and being a lot braver in the beginning."

Ryan admitted his maiden World Cup match was a "big learning curve" as he witnessed the damage quality strikers like Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez can inflict on a side.

He said skipper Mile Jedinak and vice-captain Tim Cahill have already given him a pep talk to ensure he doesn't dwell on the goals he conceded.

"We have the senior heads around the team who will be approaching us.

"Timmy and Mile have already come up to me and said to try and put it past me and move on to the next game.

"It will hurt but we'll do all the right things now with recovery and get ready for the biggest game of our lives against Holland."

The Australian with inside Dutch knowledge, Tommy Oar, insisted there's nothing to worry about.

Oar, like the rest of the soccer world, was surprised by the Netherlands' 5-1 rout of champions Spain.

But the Australian attacker, who plays in Holland with FC Utrecht, said the result won't change the Socceroos' mindset for Thursday's fixture against the Netherlands.

"It's obviously a fantastic result for them," Oar said.

"But nothing really changes from our perspective going into the next game.

"We're going to give it everything.

"And we know if we can play to our best we can cause some troubles."

The Socceroos returned to their training base in Vitoria after losing 1-3 against Chile in Cuiaba. The loss came within hours of the ominous Dutch warning.

"Spain won the last World Cup and if you look at their team, you would never expect them to lose 5-1," Oar said.

"I guess that just shows the strength of Holland as well. People were writing them off going into this tournament and they really made a statement." AAP

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