New England Soccer Today

#WorldCup: Late Offensive Burst Gives Dutch Win

Mexico’s impressive run at the World Cup is over after the Group A runner-ups blew a late lead to fall 2-1 to Group B winners Netherlands in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match in Fortaleza, Brazil on Sunday afternoon. Giovanni Dos Santos gave Mexico an early second half lead, but Wesley Sneijder equalized in the 88th minute and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted a stoppage time penalty kick to send the Dutch through to the Quarterfinals.

Mexico had the better of the early chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net in the first half. It didn’t take long into the second period, however, for the Mexicans to strike first.

Just three minutes into the second half, Villarreal attacking midfielder Giovanni Dos Santos took the ball down on his chest about 25 yards from goal, created some space around his defender and hit a spectacular low shot inside the far post to give Mexico the 1-0 lead.

The Netherlands best chance would come in the 57th minute off a corner kick by Arjen Robben that found Stefan de Vrij. De Vrij blasted a shot on frame from just a couple yards out, but Guillermo Ochoa managed to make the save from point blank range and knock it off the post.

The Dutch would put more pressure on from there and finally found the equalizer with a stunning strike in the 88th minute. Again it was off a corner kick as substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar headed a Robben corner back to the top of the box. An onrushing, unmarked, Wesley Sneijder connected with the ball just inside the box and hammered a low shot inside the near post to knot the score at 1-1.

Just four minutes later, in stoppage time, the Dutch would get their chance to win as Robben was tripped up in the box by Rafa Marquez. Huntelaar stepped up to take the penalty and finished into the lower corner to give the Dutch the victory.

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