Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer said his World Cup goal against Chile on Monday was the perfect tonic after a "tough" season with his relegated English club Norwich City.

Fer, 24, said his headed strike in the 77th minute, just 90 seconds after coming on and with only his second touch, was one of the best moments of his life.

After replacing Wesley Sneijder on 75 minutes, Fer leaped to meet Daryl Janmaat's high cross with a towering header to open the scoring with his first international goal.

"The best moment of my life? It's one of them," he said after the 2-0 win which left Netherlands top of Group B.

"It's a good goal, an important goal and my first goal for the Dutch national team and at the World Cup, so I'm really happy."

The goal followed a difficult period for Fer, 24, after Norwich's relegation from the English Premier League. He also had to overcome a hamstring injury ahead of the World Cup.

Fer captained the Netherlands' under-17 team but he flirted with playing for the Dutch Antilles, his parents' home country, before finally plumping for Holland in 2009.

After scoring, the former Feyenoord and FC Twente midfielder said he immediately spotted his family in the Corinthians Arena crowd as they celebrated.

"I want to thank everybody that supported me after this tough season. I saw my mum, my girlfriend and my little brother in the stands so I thank them as well," he said.