Just when it looked as if Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa was about to carry Mexico to yet another victory, an absolutely stunning collapse allowed the high-scoring Dutch to take a 2-1 lead. After a match that was all Mexico for large stretches, the Dutch found a late equalizer and were then rewarded with a stoppage time penalty kick to earn the win.
The first half was dominated by the Mexicans, who created dangerous chances throughout the first 45 minutes:
After the interval, Mexico were rewarded off of a stunning strike by Giovani Dos Santos, who scored his first goal for his country since 2012 and first-ever World Cup goal in the 48th minute:
And, as he does, Mexico coach Miguel Herrera celebrated with absolutely unbridled enthusiasm:
Ochoa came up huge after the goal, which seemed to awaken the Netherlands attack. The Mexico goalkeeper, outstanding all tournament, made a couple huge saves to keep his team ahead:
With hope beginning to fade for the Dutch, an 88th minute corner kick was headed towards the top of one of the men in orange. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder, no stranger to World Cup heroics, ran onto the bounding ball and absolutely hammered it home to level the score:
In the second minute of stoppage time and with extra time looking inevitable, the Netherlands continued to push for a winner. Dangerous Dutch winger Arjen Robben found himself loose near the Mexico endline with the ball, and successfully baited Mexico captain Rafa Marquez into a clumsy challenge that led to a penalty kick being awarded:
Was it a foul? Debatable. But after some dicey tackling in the box all match long by Mexico that had gone unpunished, El Tri were really playing with fire. They looked to Ochoa to bail them out one last time as Dutch substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar stepped up to the spot; however, they would soon be disappointed:
Huntelaar’s penalty effectively ended the game, send Mexico home in the Round of 16 for a staggering sixth World Cup in a row. The Netherlands now await the winner of this afternoon’s matchup between Costa Rica and Greece.