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Two late goals from Netherlands end Mexico’s World Cup run

Jun 29, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT

Close, but not quite close enough for the Oranje. Getty Images

A late surge from Netherlands saw them run out 2-1 winners over Mexico, with goals from Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar canceling out Giovani dos Santos’ opener. They’ll be paying attention to the next game, when they’ll find out whether Costa Rica or Greece will be their next opponents.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s World Cup run has ended, once again, at the Round of 16. That makes six tournaments in a row that El Tri have made it this far, only to fail to advance.

The first half between Netherlands and Holland could well have been described as, well, a snooze. An afternoon nap played out in the oppressive heat of Fortaleza. The players took the first officially sanctioned water break of the World Cup, but that was about all that happened.

Oh, besides each side getting denied what appeared to be legitimate appeals for penalties. The first time, it was Mexico being denied. Netherlands defender Ron Vlaar stuck his boot in Héctor Herrera’s face, but no call came. Mexico got their revenge in added time, when Héctor Moreno and Rafa Márquez went in together to relieve Arjen Robben of the ball. Again, no call.

The teams seemed revived by their halftime break, and sure enough, the deadlock was quickly broken.

Paul Aguilar sent a long ball up the pitch, which a Dutch defender did his best to head away. Instead it fell into the path of Giovani dos Santos, who had plenty of space to control, chesting it down to his feet. He then managed to muscle his way through two oranje shirts before sending his half-volley whizzing past a diving Jasper Cillessen.

That goal seemed to galvanize the Dutch (maybe they finally remembered that a win was necessary in this instance) and suddenly the game got interesting. In the 57th minute, Stefan de Vrij got his foot on the end of a corner from Robben. But once again, Memo Ochoa played the hero, denying de Vrij from point-blank range. Moments later, Ochoa was there to tip a shot from Wesley Sneijder over the bar, ensuring his side remained in front.

With Mexico content to sit back, it was up to Netherlands to continue expending all their energy rushing toward Ochoa’s goal. In the 74th minute, he made the difference once more, pushing aside a Robben shot after the winger flew up the pitch. On the resulting corner, Vlaar managed to put his header well high.

But Ochoa is falliable, and Netherlands finally proved it in the 88th minute. Robben’s corner curved to the back post, where substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was waiting. His headed pass fell into the path of an onrushing Sneijder, whose low shot finally evaded the Mexico ‘keeper.

The match then finished in a fashion that might well have been written before kickoff. Robben, attempting to pull back from the touchline, was tripped up by Márquez. This time the referee wasted no time brandishing the yellow, nor in pointing to the spot. It was Huntelaar who stepped up, sending his shot left, while Ochoa dove right – and in the process, securing Netherlands’ advancement to the quarterfinals.


Netherlands: Cillessen; De Vrij, Vlaar, Blind; Kuyt, Verhaegh (Depay 56), De Jong, Wijnaldum, Sneijder; Van Persie (Huntelaar 75), Robben

Mexico: Ochoa; Rodriguez, Salcido, Marquez, Aguilar, Layun; Herrera, Moreno (Reyes 45), Guardado, Dos Santos (Aquino 61); Peralta (Hernandez 75)

Goals: dos Santos 48′

  1. jimeejohnson - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Dutch machismo was stronger than Mexico’s! Hasta luego, Mexico.

  2. SergeantKabukiMan - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Corruption at its finest. Not a fan of either team but it’s not right for a ref to decide a game like that. I hope that clown is nowhere near a US game.

    • reformed2012 - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      It is FIFA best interest to keep UEFA teams in the tournament

  3. godsholytrousers - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    I hate Mexico!

    But I will support my brothers in games against Euro-Scum. They were Robbed (pun intended).

    If you’re going to go out for a bogus penalty kick, nobody deserves it more than Rafa (Karate Kid) Marquez. He is a dirty cheater, and always has been. Mexico will be back and better without him.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      Uh, godsholytrusers…

      God does not hate…

      And Mexico is always back to the round of 16…

      • godsholytrousers - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Not God,
        Just Trousers!

  4. jpat2424 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Back to the tortilla factories for Mexico

  5. kitnamania13 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Great! Now every time I go to a Mexican restaurant, I have to remember not to wear orange.

    • godsholytrousers - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Enchiladas with Orange Sauce. Muy Bien!

    • thedeadlockvictim - Jun 29, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      Or order Heineken.

  6. txbearmeat - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    I was rooting for Mexico. But that tackle was a clear foul. The real blame lies at the feet Marquez. He shouldn’t have used a sliding tackle in the box on Robben – who was going away from goal anyway. The play was going nowhere. That being said – Ref, you can’t call a penalty in stoppage time in a tied game in the final 16 of a world cup.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      Can’t call a penalty in stoppage time?

      Geez… if players ever caught onto that, guess what they’d begin to do? They continue ramping up their rough play and just outright tackle like in Rugby or American Football…

      Because, as YOU said, they CAN’T call a penalty in stoppage time…

      CALLING penalties is what keeps it soccer and not a slaughter in Monterrey…

      • txbearmeat - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:25 PM

        Obviously what I meant was that you can’t call a penalty on a ticky-tack foul like that in stoppage time.


  7. mattfondo - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Tough call but there was at least some contact. It’s unfortunate it had to decide the match.

  8. term3186 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Bad call on the penalty. But the Netherlands should’ve gotten one in first half stoppage, so I don’t feel TOO badly for them.

    • lunasceiling - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      But even earlier in the first half, there was a clear penalty against Holland that wasn’t called, either. That’s a wash.

      The ref wasn’t consistent at the end. The call for Robben was against the pattern of calls the ref had established for more than 90 minutes (that is, ignoring a good bit more serious contact than that). Robben’s theatrics may have fooled him: the slow-mo gif shows a very theatrical exaggeration of Robben’s falling motion halfway down.

    • handsofsweed - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      This. So much this. It all ended up the way it should have.

  9. Comrade23 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    I say this as someone with long-held animosity for the Mexican team and their fans (and Marquez): Robben absolutely dove in the box for that call. Football is a contact sport, contact occurs. But in no way was there enough contact there to bring down a child, let alone a man as large as Robben; his progress was never impeded, therefore it was not a foul. He was always going to dive there, the ref blew the call, and the match was ruined. This is complete injustice.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      Complete injustice is the rain forests disappearing non-stop…

      Complete injustice was all the good folks of Monterrey just trying to live their lives while being slaughtered…

      This was a bad call in a sporting event…

      • Comrade23 - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:26 PM

        Semantic games, how droll. Now I know why it’s a fool’s errand to look for rational discussion in the comments section of an American soccerball news site.

      • braxtonrob - Jun 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        @sportsfan, What … in the hell … are you rambling on about?!? How IRONIC your name is!

    • heelfans - Jun 29, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      Totally agree that Mexico was s….ed!! Two goals disallowed in their first game and now this. I have been a fan of the Dutch forever, but this is the last straw. Their performance in the last WC final was disgusting. Even Cruyff was embarrassed. Now Robben brings even greater shame with his cynical flop. I watched that “contact” several times and it was invisible. Rafa may be a jerk but that foul was bogus. The Dutch deserve better than what the current team has displayed!

  10. jucam1 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Mexico did what all teams that torture their fans do, they scored their goal and then sat in their zone and stopped attacking. You are inviting the loss when you do that. In addition, there was another penalty that should have been called in the first half and could have been a red card. Mexico played well, but they’re not as talented as the Dutch and in the end, the better team won. Still, that is a kick to the sack that the ref called that in extra time

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      well, Mexico was trying to keep their streak intact you know… bowing out in the round of 16…

      So they WERE successful in that regard…

      Gotta look for the silver lining is all…

    • ndirish10 - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      jucam1, I was saying the same thing after Mexico scored! No matter what coach they have had they ALWAYS do the same thing, start playing prevent defense after taking the lead. Lou Holtz once said, “Playing prevent defense only prevents you from winning.” they should have kept attacking. Well now on to rooting exclusively for our US.

      • java247 - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        “The first half between Netherlands and Holland could well have been described as, well, a snooze.”

        LOL, Netherlands versus Holland versus The Dutch. Proofread much, NBC Sports?

  11. footballer4ever - Jun 29, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    ay yay yay yay! canta y no llores…….ROTFLOL.

  12. peopletrains - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Questioning the legitimacy of the foul is one thing, but a foul is a foul no matter if occurs at 1′ or the 94′.

  13. godsholytrousers - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Now can CONCACAF and FIFA do something about the vulgarity of the Mexican fans?
    Their unsporting behavior (urine bags) and homophobia (chants on set plays) needs to be ended.

    C’mon Sepp, grow a pair.

    • ndirish10 - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      godsholytrousers, please stfu. Have you ever gone to a soccer game. It’s the same everywhere. Even in the youth soccer league in Westwood, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, you hear white soccer moms screaming up a storm.

      • godsholytrousers - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:20 AM

        I’ve been to my fair share of games. There is a difference in little Timmy’s mom making a fool out of herself at the middle school, and an entire nation making a fool out of FIFA in front of major marketing sponsors and money makers. The difference is dollars. Have you ever seen the size of the television contracts? Have you ever seen the power of the LGBT pressure groups?

        This is on par with NAZI salutes and Hooliganism. It will come to an end. You’ll conform.

  14. brugis23 - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Nothing funnier than reading white people having an opinion on soccer…seriously, but funny.

    • kicksave1980 - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      The “white people” that play for Netherlands had a pretty good opinion on it today, didn’t they?

    • mangog7117 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      White people invented and perfected the game of Football everyone else are Third World students and always will be.

  15. reformed2012 - Jun 29, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    The Oranje will not be in the final. If they don’t get kicked by the Los Ticos at the quarters, they will be trashed by USMNT at the semis.

    • txbearmeat - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      Do you mean Argentina or Belgium? Because both of them were more likely?

      • reformed2012 - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:13 AM

        Klinsmann will park the truck all the way to the Maracana on the 13th

  16. thegronk87 - Jun 29, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    Netherlands you won’t win, so stop kissing the world cup trophy

  17. atahualpaoxford - Jun 29, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    In the game between Netherlands and Holland…???
    Was it starters against reserves…??
    Better writing or editing is in order here….

  18. quackbury - Jun 29, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    “The players took the first officially sanctioned water break of the World Cup”.

    Seriously? Did you not watch the USA Portugal match????? Are you inferring that break wasn’t “officially sanctioned”? That it wasn’t water they were drinking?

    How did you get this job, anyway? (And more importantly, how do you keep it?)

  19. some1kj - Jun 30, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    So Robben did it again! and the referee bought it! What a travesty… There has been some really bad decisions made in this World Cup starting with the first 2 games. FIFA & UEFA need to appoint a 3 man Panel consisting of a FIFA/UEFA official, an impartial top referee, and an ex world class impartial player who can review the game in real time to look for diving in the penalty area, goals scored from offside, head butting, elbows to the head, biting and immediately inform the officials on the field that the incident is being investigated. This is the same as the model used in F1 racing. The game does not stop. If after 2-3 minutes of review, it it is found that a violation has taken place, then Red Cards are out, goals reversed instantly. End of story.

  20. some1kj - Jun 30, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    FIFA & UEFA need to adopt the F1 racing model. Put a 3 man panel to look for violation of the game that officials on the field miss in real time. Such incidents as Diving, Biting, Head butting, goals scored from offside, can be spotted and right decisions made in real time. The game need not stop while the review is taking place.

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