World Cup Match Recap: Mexican Heartbreak at the Feet of the Dutch

Ochoa stands in despair as Sneijder's shot goes into the back netting. Credits: Getty Images

Netherlands 2, Mexico 1

The score line of the match does not give justice to what occurred in the battle of the Orange Crush and El Tri. A win for the Dutch seemed to be predicted by many as a finish to the match; however, the surprise occurred through the first half of the game as Mexico dominated the match against one of the stronger sides in the World Cup.

The Mexicans were playing brilliantly through the first half and the early stages of the second half in which the team were creating chances and devoting to a stout defense against the strong Dutch forwards in Van Persie and Robben. The combinations of Peralta and Dos Santos began to work against the Dutch defense who were barely hanging in there. Dutch GK Jasper Cillessen also turned in a very disappointing performance which based on his own display should have provided Mexico will a goal in the first half. The cracking offense of El Tri would find a connection right out of halftime in the 48th minute when Dos Santos would strike and knuckler from far out past a diving Cillessen; at the time, the Dutch were playing a high line that seemed to play into the feet of the Mexicans. Mexico seemed to out and rolling to a quarterfinal appearance after falling in the round of 16 in the past five World Cups; however, a lazy Mexico would reappear that we saw previously in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying…

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The only reason the Netherlands were able to return in the match was….the Mexican team. If El Tri decided to play the way they did for the first 48 minutes, Mexico would have no doubt shut out one of the most potent offenses and would be moving on to the quarterfinals. However, both the defense and offense decided to shut down and "park the bus" in hopes to pull out a win. One player was left on the pitch playing for his life…Mexican Superman Ochoa in goal. He deflected countless opportunities and chances for the Dutch, while his defense continued to slack off. The main difference in the defense was there drop off instead of using a high sturdy line. This action opened new channels for the powerful wingers and attackers for the Dutch around the defense in order to attack Ochoa in goal. On the offensive side of the ball, defender Layun continued the attack for Mexicans as he brought the ball up through the wings in hopes of finding someone in the box….of course to no avail. It was only a matter of time before the Dutch would find the back of the net to tie the match up….

As the Mexican defense dropped off, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder took over the Dutch offense with numerous chances endangering the future of Mexico's title hopes. Their breakthroughs into holes within the Mexican defense forced the defense to drop back to avoid missing the well timed runs of Robben in combination with passes from Sneijder. Dutch forward Klaas Jan Huntelaar was subbed in for a nonproductive Van Persie later on in the match which gave the offense a new and active striker in their arsenal which pushed Mexico back even further.

Then finally in the 88th minute, the time came for the Netherlands on a corner kick. The Mexicans followed the curling kick in to the back post with has headed up to the high line of the box by Jan Huntelaar to an open Sneijder. No Mexican defender was marking the area and left a clear channel for a strike from the midfielder. Sneijer came up and struck one hard straight on line into the back netting; a rocket past Ochoa with nothing left for him to try and save. The Dutch tied up the game with dreary and tired eyes on the faces of the Mexicans. The Mexican defense would continue to be hammered for the remainder of the game until a chance for the Dutch thanks the referee…

Robben once again would cause Mexican defender Rafael Marquez to lunge questionably at the Dutch forward inside the box. Which the referee gladly would follow with a penalty kick awarded to the Bayern Munich player; I'll give the referee the fact that it was a late challenge and no contact was made with the ball, but other than that, I would have to award Robben with an Academy Award for best and convincing flop in a World Cup match. But, hey, that's just how the game is played. The penalty would then be converted easily by Jan Huntelaar past a diving Ochoa to give the Dutch the win and berth into the quarterfinals. It was simply a little unusual that the referee awarded a penalty in this play, but did not in a more obvious display just before the half…

Many variables controlled this match but in the end it came down to a slacking and tired Mexican team as the match went on. Water breaks were involved in the match, which in the second half, according to Netherlands manager Van Gaal, gave the Dutch a chance to change their tactics in order to win. The Dutch deserved the win based on their last 35 minutes of play; however, the Mexicans should not hold their heads low after they played brilliantly through Group play. I'm hoping to see a glorious future for a CONCACAF brother with new and exciting head coach Miguel Herrera leading the team. In my opinion, the better team won and now we will see another underdog try to take down the powerful orange crush later on this week.

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