The Netherlands scored a dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexico in the teams’ Round of 16 match at the FIFA World Cup on Sunday.
Down 1-0 with minutes remaining in the match, the Dutch found goals from Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar to overturn the Mexican lead.
Sneijder tied the match in the 88th minute, and Huntelaar scored from the penalty spot in the 93rd minute after Arjen Robben earned a penalty.
Giovani Dos Santos thought he had the winner when he gave Mexico the lead three minutes into the second half.
Mexico was reeling after Sneijder tied the match with a rocket in the 88th minute. With the Dutch pouring it on, Robben earned a penalty when Rafael Marquez fouled him in the box. Huntelaar cooly put the spot kick past Guillermo Ochoa to seal an incredible win.
Man of the match
Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Assist on Sneijder’s goal. Scored the winner. On for a full seven minutes of the match, after he was subbed in for Robin van Persie.
Mexico exited the World Cup at the Round of 16 stage for the sixth straight time.
It was a good day for…
Water breaks! Water breaks! We had our first ever cooling breaks at the World Cup. If you missed the five times the announcer said that, FIFA’s broadcast feed had a handy-dandy graphic to remind you.
It was a bad day for…
Actually doing anything in the heat. Thank the football gods for Dos Santos’ goal. The entire first half was uninspiring, dour, boring, and any number of those types of adjectives. The heat was the major culprit. But when Dos Santos scored, the match opened right up, and was highly entertaining.
They said it
"You don't know when your chance will come, but it was today, and so you grab it with both hands,'' said Klaas Jan Huntelaar. "And it was fantastic.''
"Today it was the man with the whistle who eliminated us from the World Cup," Mexico coach Miguel Herrera said. "If a referee invents a penalty, you're out of the World Cup. I hope they have a look at what happened and that this gentleman goes home just like we are."
What this means
The Dutch were minutes away from going home much earlier than anyone thought, considering their bright play in the group phase. But, they survived Mexico and the searing heat, and earned a berth in the quarter-finals. They’ll be the favourite to move onto the semis against Costa Rica on Saturday (CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, 4 p.m. ET).
A few minutes away from history. But Mexico, yet again, exits at the Round of 16, depriving us of the incomparable celebrations of coach Miguel Herrera and magnificent goalkeeping of Guillermo Ochoa. Considering their awful qualifying campaign, the Mexicans should be proud of the spirit they showed.