Monday, 30 June 2014

Netherlands 2-1 Mexico (Round of 16)

It wasn't an ideal match in the Fortaleza. Both the Dutch and Mexicans started the match rather cautiously. We get to see for the first time an official cooling break take place after 30 minutes of play in order to enable the players and officials to rehydrate themselves under the scorching heat of 38'C.

The cooling break somehow could break the momentum of a certain team. Although it is vital to enable players to rehydrate, but it would bring nightmares to coaches if it occur when their team had their opposition on their back foot.

3 minutes after the start of the second half, the Fortaleza erupts with jubilation as Giovanni Dos Santos puts the Mexican in front. Giovanni hits a vicious left foot strike from 20 yards, to elude Daley Blind's block and Jasper Cillessen at his far post.

Giovanni Dos Santos finally scores after being robbed
of two goals in their opening match against Cameroon

After conceding the goal, the Dutch started to play more positively. Quick ball movements and a more direct attack to goal were displayed. Unfortunately, the Mexicans managed to weather the storm due to their discipline defending.

Guillermo Ochoa, who single-handedly prevent Brazil from scoring in the group matches almost pull out the same performance again. His reaction save from Stefan de Vrij effort from just 3 yards out was nothing but magic. He later then won a one-on-one battle against Arjen Robben and managed to pull out a couple of saves after that.

Gillermo Ochoa

The Mexicans were just three minutes away from a quarter final berth when Wesley Sneijder, who has been anonymous through out the match, struck a volley from outside the penalty area to finally beat Ochoa who was rooted to the ground and could only watch as the ball hits his back of the net.

Wesley Sneijder

 With the pendulum swinging on their side, the Dutch continued to pressure the Mexicans. Robben runs down the left flank and beats his man into the penalty area. He then was brought down clumsily by Rafael Marquez in the 93rd minute and the referee awarded a penalty. 

Klaas Jan Huntelaar easily slots in a perfect spot kick to bring the Dutch into the quarter finals. 

Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored the winning goal

The Mexicans may feel hard done by but the effort and passion that they showed through out this World Cup was a joy to watch. The Dutch awaits the winner between Greece and Costa Rica in the quarter finals.

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