Netherlands 2-1 Mexico
in the extreme heat (90+ F at kick off) and humidity of Fortaleza; Mexico thought they had their way through the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1986. The Dutch tried and tried and seemed almost defeated when Huntelaar who replaced a very quiet Van Persie, deviated the ball to Sneijder who smashed to the net. Memo Ochoa was beaten and soon after Robben will create a penalty that Huntelaar converted at the 94th minute. it was too much for the Mexicans who exist the competition with honors.
Louis van Gaal, the Netherlands coach
“I have to give credit to my players: I think they were in much better shape and much more focused than our opponents. They never stopped believing, right to the end. They showed belief and a lot of confidence. We took advantage of the water break to tweak our system and created loads of chances, some of them denied by the woodwork and others by a keeper who has been fantastic. [Wesley] Sneijder is one of the most on-form players in my team: he’s the one who covers most kilometres and his technique is outstanding”.
“It doesn’t matter what system we are playing, the players know exactly what to do. He told us before the game already that we could switch system if we were 1-0 down. We switched to 4-3-3, then 15 minutes before the end of the game he decided to put an extra striker to play longer balls and look for second balls, and we managed to score a goal so his tactics were once again spot on.”
Miguel Herrera, Mexico coach
“I think that the team have played well this whole World Cup. We’ve achieved some very good things, but nobody can take away the bitter taste of this defeat. We did a good job but made mistakes, while the Netherlands did a great job to hold on, keep fighting and finally turn the scoreline around. But this wasn’t the Dutch team everyone’s been talking about, this is a side that’s vulnerable and can be beaten. In physical terms, we never dipped, we were solid and we fought to the final whistle. In my view, my players were extraordinary”.