MX23RW : Saturday, November 17 22:07:36

Live Commentary: Netherlands 2-1 Mexico - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's you live commentary of the World Cup last-16 clash in Fortaleza as Netherlands beat Mexico 2-1.

Sunday's World Cup last-16 clash in Fortaleza pitted Netherlands against Mexico.

Neither side could break the deadlock in what was a fairly laboured opening 45 minutes in the searing heat.

Mexico were ahead in the early stages of the second period courtesy of Giovani dos Santos, but Wesley Sneijder levelled late on to seemingly send the match into extra-time.

There was time for Netherlands to win it, however, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's stoppage-time penalty sending Louis van Gaal's side into the next round.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

4.01pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's last-16 World Cup coverage continues from Fortaleza as Netherlands, who have arguably been the most impressive team this summer, face dark horses Mexico, who have also turned a few heads with their performances. Right, the team news has already filtered through.

4.04pmTEAM NEWS: Dirk Kuyt wins his 100th cap for the Netherlands this afternoon, with the former Liverpool striker seemingly starting in a fairly unfamiliar wing-back role for the Dutch. Georginio Wijnaldum also comes into the XI, while skipper Robin van Persie returns from suspension. Mexico, meanwhile, bring in the experienced Carlos Salcido for suspended midfielder Jose Vazquez. Javier Hernandez continues on the bench, with Oribe Peralta leading the line once more. Full teams to follow.


NETHERLANDS: Cillessen; Verhaegh, Vlaar, De Vrij, Blind, Kuyt; De Jong, Sneijder, Wijnaldum; Robben, Van Persie

MEXICO: Ochoa; Rodriguez, Moreno, Marquez; Aguilar, Herrera, Salcido, Guardado, Layun; Dos Santos, Peralta

4.10pmAt the moment, it is currently unclear how both sides will line up in terms of formation. Kuyt could be in a central midfield area for Netherlands, or could indeed be employed in a wing-back position. Paul Verhaegh has also come into the Dutch XI. It is a similiar story with Mexico, who seem to be lining up 3-5-2, with Aguilar and Layun in the wing-back areas. However, all this could change when the match kicks off!

4.13pmAs mentioned, the two nations have met on four occasions, with Netherlands winning three of those matches and the further fixture ending in a draw. The only previous World Cup meeting between the pair came in the group stages in 1998, when Mexico came from 2-0 down to pick up a draw.

4.16pmNetherlands have now won nine of their last 10 World Cup matches, with their only defeat during that run occurring in the final of the 2010 competition, when they lost to Spain. Mexico, however, have been knocked out of the World Cup finals in the second round stage in all five editions since 1994.

4.19pmIncredibly, Mexico are the only North, Central American or Caribbean nation to beat a European side in a World Cup knockout tie in the post-war era. That occurred in 1985, when Mexico beat Bulgaria.


4.24pmMeanwhile, Mexico's recent World Cup record against European opposition is also extremely strong. La Verde have scored at least once in each of their last 11 WC games against teams from Europe, winning four of those matches and losing just twice in the process. The omens are good for Mexico.

4.27pmIt was no surprise that Netherlands found qualification for this tournament so straightforward, with Louis van Gaal's team drawn in a group where none of their opponents were ranked inside FIFA's top 30. They won nine of their 10 Group D matches, scoring 34 times in the process and conceding just five times. That run of results saw them finish comfortably top of the section, nine points clear of second-placed Romania.

4.30pmIn terms of their results in the finals, Netherlands opened their Group B campaign with a sensational 5-1 win over Spain, before beating Australia 3-2 to secure their spot in the next round. Next came a fixture with Chile in a match that would decide who would top the group and therefore avoid Brazil. Netherlands came through 2-0 winners against the South American outfit to make it nine points from nine.

4.33pmVan Gaal's side scored 10 times in the group stages – which was comfortably the best record. Netherlands have also made it past the group stages in their last seven World Cup appearances, reaching the final three times during an impressive run. As mentioned, in 2010, Netherlands were beaten 1-0 by Spain in South Africa.


4.38pmAs mentioned, Netherlands have reached the final of the World Cup in three of their last seven attempts. The first of those arrived in 1974, before they also finished second in 1978. The Dutch did not qualify in either 1982 or 1986, but returned with a quarter-final finish in 1990. Since then, they have made the quarter-finals in 1994, semi-finals in 1998 and of course, finished runner-ups to Spain in 2010.

4.41pmThe Dutch also have two players in serious form. Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben has scored eight times in his last nine appearances for his country, while skipper Robin van Persie has scored 21 goals in his last 25 games for the Oranje. As mentioned, the latter has returned to the Netherlands XI this afternoon after sitting out the Chile clash through suspension. These two can play a bit...

4.44pmMexico, meanwhile, were one of just three teams – the other two being Costa Rica and Belgium - to concede only one goal in the group stages. Miguel Herrera's side opened their Group A campaign with a 1-0 win over Cameroon, before holding the hosts Brazil to a goalless draw in their second match.

4.47pmNext came their final group match against Croatia and Herrera's side booked their spot in the last-16 stage with a 3-1 win. They have already shown their credentials this summer – especially against Brazil – and will be confident of springing another surprise this afternoon against an impressive Dutch outfit.

4.50pmTalking of Herrera, he became Mexico's fourth coach in just six weeks when he was appointed in October 2013 ahead of the playoff clash with New Zealand, which Mexico won 9-3 on aggregate. The 46-year-old, who has also managed the likes of Monterrey and America, represented Mexico 14 times as a player between 1993 and 1994. His contract will expire after the World Cup, but he could certainly be due an extension.

4.52pmGoalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has had most of the headlines for Mexico this summer, but 35-year-old skipper Rafael Marquez has been the pick of the bunch. He is now the only player in history to have captained his nation at four World Cups and has now scored in three of them. Quite incredible.

4.55pmPREDICTION: I have been very surprised by Mexico this summer, but I think this match might be just one game too far. Netherlands have been brilliant in Brazil and I expect them to advance into the quarter-finals. My score prediction is 2-1 Netherlands, with Van Persie to score the decisive goal.

4.58pmRight, the national anthems have been completed. The pre-match handshakes have also been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time to get this last-16 clash in Fortaleza underway!

0 minWell, it is quite hot in Fortaleza this afternoon and that is being kind. Both sets of players will need to take on a lot of water this afternoon. Right, Mexico get the first 45 minutes of this fixture underway.

2 minAs expected, fairly laboured start from both teams. It is important that energy is conserved in the early exchanges this afternoon. Netherlands attack down the right with Kuyt, but his through pass is cleared by Moreno. Van Persie is involved moments later, but once more Mexico force Netherlands away from their box.

4 minThe heat is going to take a lot out of the players this afternoon there is no question about that. Both teams seem to have lined up in a 3-5-2 formation. Half-chance for Mexico as Layun finds some space outside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. It must be said that there is a sensational atmosphere.

6 minHalf-chance for Netherlands as Sneijder finds some space in a wide area, but the midfielder cannot find Van Persie and it moves behind for a goal kick. Mexico break down the other end with Guardado, who slides a pass into Herrera, but Vlaar is on hand to make the challenge. Still goalless with six minutes on the clock.

8 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of minutes, with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. Netherlands have just started to take control of the ball, but clear chances have been few and far between thus far. The early stages are shaping up as expected.

10 minNervy moment for the Dutch goalkeeper as he slices a through pass from Dos Santos, but Vlaar is on hand to clear up outside the box. Netherlands have a free kick in an advanced position moments later, but Sneijder's delivery is headed clear by Rodriguez, who has had a terrific World Cup this summer.

10 minSUB! Netherlands are forced into an early change as Martins Indi replaces De Jong, who did not look too comfortable when leaving the field. Not entirely sure what happened to be honest!

12 minWell, 12 minutes in and neither side has really threatened to open the scoring. Mexico have started to see more of the ball in the final third, but Netherlands have been comfortable defensively in the early moments.

13 minCHANCE! First real sight of goal for Mexico as Layun drives into the Netherlands box before flashing a cross towards the far post, but Dos Santos cannot make contact. So close for Mexico.

16 minMexico have really started to force the issue in the last few minutes with the likes of Herrera and Guardado joining Peralta and Dos Santos in the final third. Netherlands have a penalty shout down the other end when Robben fires a cross straight at Marquez, but the referee is not interested and play continues.

18 minCHANCE! Another wonderful chance for Mexico as Peralta sets up Herrera just inside the Netherlands box, but the midfielder's effort just flashes wide of the post. One-way traffic at the moment.

20 minJust a reminder that the winner of this match will face either Costa Rica or Greece - who meet this evening - in the next round. With respect to those two, both Netherlands and Mexico would fancy their chances against one of those teams. Still goalless, but the match is starting to open up with 20 minutes on the clock.

21 minCHANCE! Another chance for Mexico as Herrera beats the Netherlands goalkeeper to the ball inside the box, but Vlaar just does enough to clear over his own crossbar. Mexico continue to press.

23 minCHANCE! First real chance for Netherlands as Kuyt whips a cross onto the head of Wijnaldum, but his effort is up in the air and Ochoa is on hand to collect. Chances at either end in Fortaleza.

25 minSalcido tries his luck for Mexico after finding some space outside the box, but Cillessen is on hand to push the effort wide of the post. The resulting corner is delivered by Herrera, but Van Persie clears.

28 minCHANCE! Opportunity for Netherlands as Van Persie collects a through pass from De Vrij before attempting to flash one into the back of the net, but he slices wide of the post. Much better from the Dutch.

30 minJust a few signs that Netherlands are starting to dominate possession of the ball, but Mexico's defence remains solid. Peralta continues to make bright runs beyond the Dutch back four, but the forward has had little joy thus far. Dos Santos tests Cillessen moments later, but his effort is straight at the Dutch goalkeeper.

32 minPossession football from Netherlands, but they are finding it difficult to break through the Mexico defence. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining and still the score remains goalless. The referee has signalled a water break, which is not much of a surprise. The humidity is around 70% here!

34 minThe cooling break continues, as both sides take on plenty of fluid...

35 min

36 minWe are back underway here. Mexico would not have wanted that break. At the moment, they look the fitter team.

37 minPossession football from Mexico since the restart, but Netherlands are fairly comfortable with the ball in front of their back four. Layun does deliver a low cross into the box, but the Dutch stopper collects.

40 minKeeping the ball is so important in this heat and Netherlands are the team currently in control of the possession. Kuyt attempts to drive into the Mexico box moments later, but Marquez is on hand to clear. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining and still this last-16 clash remains goalless.

42 minWell, not too much is happening at the moment. The heat is taking its toll on both sets of players and it is almost like a pre-season match. This might play into the hands of Mexico.

44 minCHANCE! Opporunity for Mexico as Dos Santos drives into the Dutch box before testing Cillessen from a tight angle, but the goalkeeper makes the save. Moments later, Martins Indi clashes with Dos Santos, but the referee is on hand to calm proceedings at the vital moment.

45 min+1Kuyt attempts to slide a low pass into the path of Robben, but the ball runs away from the Bayern Munich attacker and Mexico have a free kick. Still goalless in the searing heat and we are into four added minutes.

45 min+3It has not been the best half of football, but the conditions are playing a serious part. It is red-hot in Fortaleza at the moment. Possession football from Mexico in the latter stages of the half.

45 min+3Netherlands want a penalty as Robben goes down inside the Mexico box under a challenge from Marquez, but the referee is not interested. I have seen those given it must be said.

45 min+4Having seen that again - it was a certain penalty for me. Marquez and Moreno both cleaned Robben out!

45 min+4Moreno is leaving the field on a stretcher for Mexico, which is not good news at this stage of proceedings. It seems that a change will need to be made before half-time.

45 min+5HALF-TIME: Netherlands 0-0 Mexico

5.51pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. Both teams have had half-chances, but the searing heat has really harmed the quality of the match. Qatar anyone?!

5.56pmSTATISTICS: Netherlands have shaded the possession with 56%, but they have managed just two attempts - one of which has been on target. Mexico, meanwhile, have hit the target with four of their seven attempts. There has been no bookings, which is not much of a surprise. It has not been that type of game.

6.01pmBENCH WATCH: Netherlands have already been forced into a change, with Martins Indi replacing De Jong early on. However, Van Gaal still has options on his bench in the shape of Depay, Clasie, Huntelaar and Jens. Mexico, meanwhile, could be forced into a half-time change following that injury to Moreno. Herrera has plenty of attacking options on his bench in the shape of Hernandez, Aquino and Fabian.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second 45 minutes. Let's hope for more clear chances and end-to-end football. Netherlands get the second period underway in this searing heat.

46 minSUB! As expected, Mexico have been forced into a change with Reyes entering the injured Moreno, who left the field on a stretcher in the latter stages of the first peirod.

48 minYou just get the feeling that one goal might be enough to win this match. Has the weather harmed the quality? For me, yes. Neither side has really been able to hit full flow. Possession football from Mexico in the early stages of the second period, but Netherlands remain compact in defensive areas.

48 minGOAL! Netherlands 0-1 Mexico (Dos Santos)

49 minMexico take the lead in the early stages of the second period as Dos Santos flashes a wonderful effort into the bottom corner from outside the box. Stunning half-volley from the former Barcelona attacker.

51 minThat is a big goal. Not just because it has sent Mexico into the lead, but because of the heat inside the stadium. Netherlands will now be forced to come out in search of an equaliser and you do not want to be chasing the game in this type of atmosphere. Netherlands have been shocked by that wonderful Dos Santos effort.

53 minHalf-chance for Marquez as the Mexico skipper meets a cross from Dos Santos, but his header is high of the crossbar. Not too much in the way of a response from Netherlands in the last couple of minutes.

55 minDecent response from Netherlands in the last couple of minutes as Van Gaal's side force two corners, but Mexico manage to clear the danger on both occasions. Mexico are down the other end with Dos Santos moments later, but the Villarreal attacker cannot find the run of Dos Santos. Still 1-0 Mexico with 55 minutes on the clock.

57 minSUB! Netherlands make their second change of the match as Depay replaces Verhaegh.

58 minCHANCE! Oh my word what a chance for Netherlands. De Vrij looks certain to score after meeting a corner from Robben, but somehow Ochoa makes a stunning point-blank save. Incredible goalkeeping.

60 minNetherlands have really started to force the issue in the last couple of minutes with Mexico struggling to keep the ball. Kuyt is down the right once more, but his cross is cleared by Marquez. I have a feeling that we have not seen the last of the goals in this match. Little over 30 minutes of normal time remaining.

62 minCHANCE! Netherlands come close to levelling as Robben drives towards the Mexico box before finding Sneijder, but his effort is just deflected high of the crossbar. The pressure is building.

62 minSUB! Second change for Mexico as Aquino replaces Dos Santos.

64 minMexico attempt to break with Aquino following a loose pass from Sneijder, but the Villarreal attacker cannot keep hold of the ball. Netherlands break down the other end with Robben, but Sneijder cannot meet the cross from the Bayern Munich attacker. Everything good from Holland is coming through Robben at the moment.

66 minBlind tries his luck for Holland after meeting a high ball outside the box, but his effort drops wide of the post. Netherlands are in control, but Mexico continue to lead. Little under 25 minutes remaining.

68 minRobben wants another penalty after falling inside the Mexico box under pressure from two defenders, but the referee is not interested. Layun made contact and I have seen them given. Another controversial one!

69 minBOOKING! The first yellow card of the match is handed to Aguilar, as the Mexican dives into the back of Depay.

71 minMexico continue to sink deeper and deeper into their own half, which is inviting pressure from Netherlands, who have had most of the ball since conceding. Kuyt delivers another low cross into the Mexico box, but Reyes makes the clearance. Little under 20 minutes of football remaining and still Mexico lead.

72 minAnother half-chance for Sneijder following smart work from Robben, but once more the midfielder fires high and wide of the crossbar. He has been poor this afternoon.

74 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, with Mexico dealing with the threat from Netherlands. As it stands, Mexico will be in the quarter-finals of the World Cup and will face the winner of Costa Rica against Greece. What a chance to make the semi-finals it must be said.

75 minCHANCE! Brilliant again from Robben as the Dutch winger drives into the box before firing an effort towards goal, but once more Ochoa makes an excellent save.

75 minSUB! Third change for Mexico as Javier Hernandez replaces Peralta.

76 minCHANCE! Vlaar comes close for Netherlands after meeting a corner from Robben, but his header is high and wide of the crossbar. It is all one-way pressure at the moment.

77 minSUB! Another change for Netherlands as Huntelaar replaces Van Persie.

78 minAnother water break...

78 minLittle over 10 minutes remaining and both teams are taking on plenty of fluid. Are Mexico heading for the quarter-finals? Or can Netherlands respond? It promises to be a fascinating final 12 minutes or so.

80 minWe are back underway and Mexico have possession of the ball. You just get the feeling that there will be a couple more chances for Netherlands in the latter stages. Is there to be late drama here?

80 minHalf-chance for Salcido as the Mexican breaks to the edge of the Netherlands box, but his final effort is high and wide of the crossbar.

82 minMexico possession in the last few minutes, which is seriously frustrating Netherlands as time continues to drift away from the Dutch. The heat is still searing and Mexico look the team still full of energy.

84 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments, with Mexico comfortable in dealing with each high ball into the box. Netherlands continue to deliver high into the area, but it is not working.

86 minOchoa makes another wonderful save to deny a point-blank effort from Huntelaar, but the striker had been in an offside position inside the box. Mexico survive once more, but Robben is looking extremely dangerous for the Dutch. Mexico are little under five minutes away from the final eight of this tournament.

88 minTime is running out for Netherlands and they cannot seem to open up this Mexico defence. Long balls continue to arrive into the box, but the Mexican back four have been just wonderful.

88 minGOAL! Netherlands 1-1 Mexico (Sneijder)

89 minOh my word! The Dutch have done it! Netherlands level with two minutes remaining as Sneijder flashes a wonderful effort into the bottom corner from the second phase of a corner. Incredible!

90 minIncredible scenes here. Mexico were almost there, but now we could be heading for extra-time. What a match. What a World Cup! Let's have another 30 minutes of this please.

90 min+2The fourth additional has indicated that we will play an additional six minutes and we are indeed into the second of those. At the moment, Netherlands are in complete control and are looking for a winner.


90 min+3BOOKING! OH MY WORD! Penalty to Netherlands and yellow card Marquez as the Mexican brings Robben to the ground inside the box. Just incredible. Wow.

90 min+4GOAL! Netherlands 2-1 Mexico (Huntelaar, pen)

90 min+5Huntelaar sends his effort into the bottom corner and might have just won the match for Netherlands. Wow, just wow. What a World Cup this has been. It is so, so tough on Mexico.

90 min+6You have to feel for Mexico, you really do. However, this is all about Netherlands. They have snatched this away at the very last moment. We are into the final minute of additional time.

90 min+7FULL-TIME: Netherlands 2-1 Mexico

7pmWow, just wow. Netherlands are into the final eight of the World Cup following a late, late show against Mexico, who have fallen at the last-16 stage once more. Incredible.

7.02pmRight, just about time to catch my breath. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for all the reaction. Until next time!

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The Netherlands pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Netherlands and Mexico at Castelao on June 29, 2014
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