World Cup Brazil: Narrow escape for The Netherlands; Come back in last 5 minutes
By Frans van Hees | www.AboutBrasil.com | Week 26, June 2014
Rio de Janeiro — A bizarre denouement in the sweltering hot city of Fortaleza. That was your soccer match The
Netherlands against Mexicoin the
second round of World Cup 2014 in Brazil. The Dutch soccer team was standing at the brink of elimination, but an attentive Wesley Sneijder and a cold-blooded Klaas-Jan Huntelaar turned the 0-1 lead of Mexico in the last five minutes of the match into a 2-1 final score.
The Netherlands through to the quarterfinals, Mexico out.
Dutch coach Van Gaal started against the Mexican soccer team again with a defensive, but so far succesful, system.
There was one substitution in contrary to other matches: first team player Daryl Janmaat was left on the bench instead of Paul Verhaegh.
Right winger Dirk Kuyt, who played his 100th cap today, was playing left back again and captain Robin van Persie was back in the team after a suspension.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrating his scored penalty with the corner flag: 2-1
After only nine minutes, Team The Netherlands had to deal with a disappointment when Nigel de Jong could not play on due to a groin injury. His replacement was Bruno Martins Indi, with whom Van Gaal did not want to take too much risk, because the 22-year-old Feyenoord defender is still recovering from a concussion. Nevertheless, with the contribution of Martins Indi Daley Blind moved up to the midfield.
The Mexican team of coach Miguel Herrera started strong, but could not polish off goalie Japser Cillessen. The most critical moment of the soccer game so far, was close to half-time. Dutch star Arjen Robben was brought down in the penalty area by Héctor Moreno. However, the Portuguese referee Pedro Proença refused to give a penalty. That there was physical contact though, was proved later when it turned out that Moreno broke his leg in the action...
Mexico started also the second half well. After less than three minutes, Giovani Dos Santos scored from twenty minutes after bad defending by especially Daley Blind: 0-1. Van Gaal immediately brought in his supersub Memphis Depay and the Dutch national soccer team changed its system to playing with three strikers. This clever conversion led to turmoil and confusion with Mexico.
The first big chance for The Netherlands to equalize was for Stefan de Vrij. After a corner, the Feyenoord defender shot at close range from the cage, but Mexico was saved by its excellent goalie Guillermo Ochoa and the post. After that, just like in the previous games, the most Dutch threat came from
Arjen Robben. The striker of Bayern Münchenensured rapid changeovers, but he also found the eminent Ochoa on his way.
The second drink break after 75 minutes, inserted because of the scorching heat, relieved Mexico for the moment. At that time battle-ram Huntelaar, who replaced Van Persie, was already on the pitch. The attacking impulses of the Dutch were rewarded after 87 minutes. Huntelaar headed the ball back so Wesley Sneijder could bombard the ball in the Mexican goal: 1-1.
Mexico was almost defeated and a few minutes later, already in extra time,
Robben provoked a penalty. Substitute Huntelaar exchanged the opportunity from 12 meters into a goal: 2-1. After victories against Spain (5-1), Australia (3-2) and Chile (2-0) the match against Mexico was a narrow escape for the Dutch team.
quarterfinals of World Cup 2014in Brazil awaits in Salvador Costa Rica or Greece. These teams will play their second round match later tonight.
Matches & Standings Second Round - World Cup 2014