The Netherland is continuing on their fine run in the tournament. One would be surprised if they didn’t score in this game as they have scored 10 goals in this tournament and today have added two more to their tally.
The first half of the game was very one sided, Mexico doing majority of the attacking while the Dutch caught themselves on the defensive end. Mexico was great with their passing, making runs but they were having trouble with their final ball. Holland’s troubles could be attributed to the forced exit of Nigel De Jong due to injury in the 9th minute, which looked to destabilize the team; they lost control of the midfield, which meant Mexico had time on the ball. The Dutch were denied a clear penalty shout when Robben was brought down in the box in the final minutes of the first half. The referee wasn’t impressed and ruled out any chances of a penalty.
The temperature was also a major factor as it looked to have affected the mental and physical state of players on both teams. The heat definitely slowed down the tempo of the game, therefore requiring a cooling break after 30 minutes in both halves.
The second half started from where Mexico left off, with them attacking and they were finally rewarded with a goal by Dos Santos in the 48th minute. Mexico continued threatening in the second half until Holland introduced their super-sub, Memphis Depay. Depay sparked a sense of urgency and the need to score a goal into the Dutch side, they began searching for an equalizer. They got what they were looking for in the 87th minute, with a wonderfully taken and placed shot by Sneijder. Holland kept pushing in search of a winner, which they got from the penalty spot. Robben danced his way into the box, refused to square the ball because he had other plans, he was looking for a touch, which he got, went down so theatrically, sold the referee and was given a penalty. I believe the referee was just making amends for his mistake in the first half. Huntelaar converted the penalty in injury time and the Dutch moves on to the last eight were they would face either Costa Rica or Greece.
Congrats to the Dutch on making the last eight and better luck next time to Mexico.