It is a beautiful afternoon in Fortaleza, with blazing hot temperatures and a fantastic football contest. Netherlands soared through a very difficult group, while Mexico was the best side in their group in terms of all round play. Today, Netherlands came back from being down 1-0 to win 2-1 before extra time, after Sneijder’s opening strike in the 87th sparked many events. Let’s look at the day’s events.
Netherlands vs Mexico
Despite the lack of a midfield destroyer, Louis Van Gaal has opted to revert to the 4-3-3/4-3-1-2 formation that the players adjusted to when they took the world by storm. Herrera keeps his usual 5-3-2.
De Jong is injured in the 8th minute. He comes off for Bruno Martins Indi, and Blind moves to defensive midfield.
Herrera! The play from Dos Santos and Peralta in the 17th ends up at his feet, but he is just wide. Mexico should be up 1-0.
Herrera breaks through in the 20th, but his shot hits De Vrij and goes just wide!
A beautiful shot from far is hit out by Cillessen. It was going in, but Cillissen didn’t realize because the shot was so far away!
The ref has called a water break for the first time in World Cup history. It is 38 degrees in Fortaleza.
Dos Santos is free in the 42nd, but he is on the line and can’t turn it past Cillessen. Blind starts a counter to Van Persie, but the Mexican defenders surround him and make a great recovery.
Mexico makes an error in defence, and Van Persie is free. He passes to Robben, who is clearly fouled badly, but the ref gives no penalty. For once, Robben actually didn’t dive.
Half Time: Netherlands 0-0 Mexico
WHAT A GOAL! MEXICO ARE AHEAD IN THE 48TH!! DOS SANTOS GETS A SHOT FROM FAR IS IN THE BOTTOM CORNER! Mexico 1-0 Netherlands
Peralta! His shot from outside in the 55th is saved by Cillessen!
OCHOA! De Vrij gets a header from Robben’s corner, but he makes one of those saves again!
Robben makes a fantastic run and plays to Sneijder, and his shot is blocked by Herrera and out for a corner. Giovani Dos Santos comes off for Javier Aquino.
Robben beats 4 people and shoots, but Ochoa hits it out for a corner AGAIN! If Mexico wins, Ochoa will surely be the MOTM.
Chicharito is coming on for Oribe Peralta.
Klass Jan Huntelaar is coming on for Van Persie.
GOAL! SNEIJDER! Robben’s corner is cleared, but Sneijder is there to smash it past Ochoa! Netherlands 1-1 Mexico in the 87th minute! WHAT A GOAL!
AND AGAIN! NETHERLANDS HAVE A PENALTY! WHAT AN ENDING THIS MAY BE! ROBBEN IS FOULED BY MARQUEZ! Will it go in? Huntelaar is taking the shot… Guardado complains and is shown yellow. Now for the penalty… GOAL! HE TRICKS OCHOA AND NETHERLANDS IS MOVING ON! Netherlands 2-1 Mexico
This is really a killer for Mexico. They went too deep too early, taking off Dos Santos for another midfielder and deciding to rest Peralta when bringing Hernandez on.
IT IS DONE! Full Time: Netherlands 2-1 Mexico; Goals, Sneijder, Huntelaar, Dos Santos; MOTM Ochoa
Best Player Grades Out of 10:
Stefan De Vrij- He was solid in defence and unlucky not to score a goal. 7
Ron Vlaar- He was a rock in defence. 7
Wesley Sneijder- He scored a great goal, and showed his versatility in a deeper role today. 7
Arjen Robben- He was Netherlands’s best player, setting up both goals and hassling the defence at all times. 9
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar- He claimed an assist and the winning goal. 8
Guillermo Ochoa- He was unstoppable until it became physically impossible to do. 9
Giovani Dos Santos- He played very well and looked dangerous all game. He scored a world class goal. 8
Be sure to tune in as Costa Rica tries to break the biggest bus park in the tournament at 4pm.