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World Cup Today: Sunday
by Paul Kennedy, June 29th, 2014 5:02PM

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TAGS:  mexico, netherlands, world cup 2014

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[BRAZIL 2014] The Netherlands stunned Mexico with goals in the 88th minute and fourth minute of stoppage time to beat El Tri, 2-1, and move into the quarterfinals.

The decision of Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca to award a penalty kick for  Rafael Marquez's challenge on Arjen Robben in the penalty area will be talked about in Mexico for a long time. The left-footed Robben cut along the end line and as he went to his left, Marquez stuck out his foot and Robben went down. Proenca had not awarded penalty kicks on two other incidents involving Robben but did not hesitate this time.

Mexico in Round of 16:
1994: Bulgaria (1-1, 1-3 on penalties)
1998: Germany (1-2)
2002: USA (0-2)
2006: Argentina (1-2, OT)
2010: Argentina (1-3)
2014: Netherlands (1-2)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who come on for Robin van Persie, converted the penalty kick that doomed Mexico to its sixth straight exit from the round of 16. The goal came in the fourth minute of stoppage time for the second latest goal ever scored in stoppage time.

Six minutes were added at the end of the game after FIFA-ordered water breaks in both halves because of the heat in Fortaleza, where the temperatures hit the 90s. Dutch coach Louis van Gaal said he used the second water break at the 75-minute mark to adjust the Oranje's formation to a 3-3-4.

"Until the very last minute," said van Gaal, "we were fresher and fitter than the Mexicans. My players deserve a big compliment. Not only did they have belief and faith that they could perform today, they were also fit for this match."



Mexico took a deserved lead on Giovani dos Santos' goal with a left-footed drive from 30 yards in the 48th minute, but the goal proved to be the worse thing to happen to El Tri as it then sat back, allowing the Dutch to come at it -- in particular, allowing Robben to run at the Mexican defense from deep positions.

Ten minutes later after Gio's goal, Guillermo Ochoa, the Mexico star in the group stage, pulled another spectacular save, stopping Stefan De Vrij from point-blank range with a stop that deflected off the post. Ochoa later stopped Robben after the Dutchman jumped over a challenge from Marquez. With van Persie less than 100 percent, it looked like El Tri would hold on and end its jinx at the first hurdle of the knockout stage.

But the game turned in the 88th minute when Huntelaar won a header off a corner kick, and Wesley Sneijder was left unmarked to hit a driving shot from the top of the area inside the near post that evened the score and set up the controversial finale.

Marquez said he never touched Robben. "If you know Robben well," the Mexican captain said, "five out of 10 fouls he gets are due to dives."

Herrera insisted the percentage was higher. "Three times he dived," he said before acknowledging his team had not helped itself with its decision to sit back. "We'd done really well but then we sit back and we start to give chances to a team that hadn't done anything."

The loss was eerily similar to Mexico's exit in 1998 when it fell to West Germany, 2-1. Luis Hernandez scored right after the break, but it was not until the final 15 minutes that the game changed as the Germans won on goals by Jurgen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff.

Mexico also lost, 2-1, after taking the lead in 2006 when Argentina recovered from conceding an early goal to Marquez and won, 2-1, in overtime on Maxi Rodriguez's wonder goal.

Those exits El Tri could swallow. This one, Herrera and Company will have a hard time getting over.

June 29 in Fortaleza
Netherlands 2 Mexico 1. Goals: Sneijder 88, Huntelaar pen. 90+4; dos Santos 48.
Netherlands -- Cillessen; Blind, Vlaar, de Vrij; Kuyt, de Jong (Martins Indi 9), Wijnaldum, Verhaegh (Depay 56); Sneijder; Robben, van Persie (Huntelaar 76).
Mexico -- Ochoa; Moreno (Reyes 46), Marquez, Rodriguez; Layun, Guardado, Salcido, Herrera, Aguilar; dos Santos (Aquino 61); Peralta (Hernandez 75).


28 comments
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 7:40 p.m.
    I've said this time and again, whether you think a foul was embellished with a dive or not, the discretion is still with the referee to call the foul. On the PK call, his foot is clearly stepped on, which is not incidental contact. The referee could even award the PK, and still, although unusual caution Robben if he thought it was Unsporting. They are not mutually exclusive. (hate to see him try to answer that situation if he did that though) Marquez, with tired legs, would of done better by walling Robben off after getting beat to the goal line then recovering. Mexico did well, and the USA was right sending them to the WC. ; )

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 8:47 p.m.
    Chris Sapien, eh, whaaat??? Strange you don't mention that the ref was from the same region (Portugal) or the confederation as Holland and here I thought that FIFA would assign referees from other confederations, jeez, Portugal and not too far from the Netherlands, isn't?

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 8:48 p.m.

  1. Tim Gibson
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 8:58 p.m.
    "El Capitan" who has made an International Career "Living By The Sword", likely ends his World Cup career dying by it. El Tri got away with the earlier non-calls in the box, the official had to call it on Rafa's lazy ass & he deserved it. He had other options but he (once again) lost his marbles.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 9:06 p.m.
    That's FIFA's problem now! I was referring to the Laws of the Game. Nothing more.....but agree, the referee should be from the furthest point from both teams that is available. He should also be from different continents, hemispheres, different prime meridian sides, no colonial associations, not share any common flag colors, and call "right" left and vice versa.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 9:13 p.m.
    Chris S., I'm in agreement; yet FIFA is derelict in making sure that refs enforce diving with yellow cards, it's not happening at this WC. The melees on free-kicks and corners in the box are rare, although condoned in league competition. Refs all over the world are bending the Laws of the Game to an extreme and FIFA kahunas are either blind, deaf, or simply incompetent.

  1. Woody Woodpecker
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 9:31 p.m.
    Until FIFA does something about diving, it will continue. It's a disease in our game. I refereed a match of U12 boys yesterday, and they we're flopping around like fish. Where did they learn that from. In my u12 boys game, it was always the Hispanic kids falling over when the wing blew? This needs to cease and desist.

  1. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 9:54 p.m.
    I thought this ref did a good job with this match. He didn't call the penalty in the first half, though replays showed it was clearly a foul on Robben in the box. But if he didn't see it, he can't call it. ... He DID call the one at the end, because he did see it. .... Compared to some of the referees we've seen -- especially the ones in Group A play at the start of the tournament -- this ref was vastly superior.

  1. charles davenport
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 10:31 p.m.
    The foul was fairly called; possibly el Tri needed to keep attacking and keep ball. Water breaks???

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 10:51 p.m.
    Chris is talking about what FIFA rules state and how they "could" be handled. Fcat is these refs are not enforicing basic rules in that same book. when will everyone understand that Fifa pretty much dictates who will advance and win it all at their convenience?? It would not be good for business to have so many nonEuro teams in final 8. Thats why they dont want an instant replay set in even though that has undoubtably made the NFL and NBA mch more fair and better to watch.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 10:53 p.m.
    Pecker, diving is universal. You are just in a situation where Hispanics U12's are probably the only ones that actually watch soccer on tv.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 10:55 p.m.
    Please stop comparing or justifying a 1st 1/2 Pk noncall to a last minute Pk that decides the entire game!! The ref called the entire game against Mexico with petty foul calls against mexico and noncalls for them!! Actually, if you watch all of Mexico's 4 games you will notice that the refs were clearly against them in 3 of them.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 10:59 p.m.
    Charles, water breaks were permitted for only one reason. To help the Euro teams to get through at any cost!! There is no other reason. IS this Park Dostrict Soccer??? !!! El TRi did indeed make a huge mistake in bunkering like it did but in the end this game was decided on a very poor call by the ref. Had this ref showed Robber a Yellow earlier in the game this wouldnt have happened !! How many games now that refs have decided games in this world cup??? Alot!!!

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 10:21 a.m.
    I felt bad for the Mexican players. They showed well in the World Cup and after qualification I root for all CONCACAF teams in the Cup. Their success only makes us look better as the group leader. However, I was also glad to see them lose in a way and I finally figured out why. I really dislike the average Mexican Fan. They are complete a-holes from what I can and have observed and what I've read about as far as their behavior at games (throwing urine on opposing fans, throwing objects onto the field at opposing players, shining lasers at opposing players, etc...). So for the Mexican players, who played a respectable brand of soccer and represented our region very well, I feel badly. For the Mexican fans with their homophobic "puto" chant that has now gone to throw-ins, and free kicks, I say Ha! Swallow that loss for the next 4 years, I have no respect for you as futbol fans. Until you grow up and respect the beauty of the game amongst fellow humans may be forever be stuck in the Round of 16.... If the USA loses in the same round, I know our players and fans will behave honorably and respectfully to our foes and their fans and we can hold our heads up high for taking the high road.

  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 10:24 a.m.
    If Rafa knows what a diver Robben is (and who doesn't really?), then why did he stick his foot in there in the penalty area? Had he just trusted his teammates to cover he could have just stood his ground and forced Robben back to the middle.... A moment of Loco, I assume.

  1. Tim Gibson
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.
    As a Red Bull supporter & having suffered thru Rafa's tenure in NJ, I have seen 1st hand how he is unable to properly channel his "Passions" for the game at key moments. I have been waiting all tournament for him to do something stupid & unfortunately for all of Mexico, it came at the wrong time. It's quite sad too because he & his mates had a wonderful tournament up until that point - all did an honorable job representing CONCACAF. on the otherside of this story, Robben is arguably 1 of the top 5 best @ dribbing the ball in tight spaces in the tournament. He was targeting 1:1 w/Rafa all game & yes he did take advantage of the situation. But Rafa with all his big game experience took the bait, put his emotions above the rest of the nation.... so he should also take %100 of the blame = *uto THIS!

  1. John Soares
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.
    I was cheering..."LOUD" for Mexico. Felt bad with Sneijer's goal. But just mad when Rafa did what Rafa has been doing for years. He did it against the USA among others and repeatedly while a Red Bull. It is sad because he was having a very good tournament. But the "essential" player came through again. If Mexico or anybody else wants a reason/blame for the loss (not that the win was a guarantee) they need look no further than Rafa. It is silly to blame FIFA at this point. For better or worse we all play by the same rules. As for the ref being Portuguese... another weak excuse. If anything, after recent "collisions" between the two countries, remember the "war" in 2006? If anything the "Portuguese" ref would be pro Mexico.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 8:18 p.m.
    Scott, you must have never been to an English premier game ot Italian game or an NFL game in some cities. Or Chicago flipping over cars and vandalizing after Jordan and friends won it all. How about judging teams by their player's achievements like we do in American sports. Oh wait, Kobe accused of rape, but wait he is still one of the biggest role models in USA!! How come I never see posts like yours when thos AHoles win championships!! Not conveneint or not as much redirected hate involved?? You must not have any respect for alot of Fans in USA huh?? So USA soccer fans are immune to USA NBA, NFL, Hockey fans ingorance?? There must be very little racism in Nascar races too!! When you point a finger at all fans of National Team you better make goddamn sure you have nothing to be ashamed of yourself sunshine. I guess taking 3-4 dives in a game until one is called is more honorable. You guys crack me up.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 8:23 p.m.
    Scott, your ignorance astonishes me. Why did Rafa stick his foot out knowing how much robben dives?? Is that his job description?? How about the ref?? Shouldnt he be the one doing most of the homework before the game starts on each player's tendencies?? How come Pepe was immediatley red carded and we all said well he does have a reputation?? Suarez?? Well, Its hois 3rd time!! No early yellow for Robben even though everybody knows!!!??? Portugal ref for this game?? Thats the better question nobody is asking. FIFA Mafia at it again !! And all the sucker buying into it.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.
    Robben admitted to diving all agme. Portugal ref when neither federation should have a ref present at this game. Dont know if you know this but as much as some Euro countries hate each other they all agree that a Euro team should win the World Cup every 4 years. We are supposed to have the best refs in the world at this event. We have seen extremely poor reffing throughout this tourney starting with the very 1st game!! Croatia got robbed. Cameroon game also in favor of Brazil. Mexico had 3 out of 4 games called against them. look at all the fouls and nonfouls called. Look at all the ones not called for Mexico. Tell me FIFA wasnt involved.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 8:36 p.m.
    Mexico the best Concacaf team and Costa Rica proving how overrated Euro Leagues truly are. Italy, England, Spain a joke and Bundesliga not that much better. Why doesnt the USA just put all their money into MLS and get Brazilians, Argentinians, Colombians, Etc. to come here instead ?? Keep the world's best talent in America. What level would all those Euro leagues be at then ??

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 12:07 a.m.
    You are in a sorry state my friend.......but I sympathize with your el tri delusion. One request though, could you post all your comments in one post when they are not a reply?? Makes it easier for the rest of us to skip over them. Thanks.

  1. Tim Gibson
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 8:33 a.m.
    Totally agree Chris and why is it whenever Mexico loses a big match all their supporters go after officials or invent some conspiracy theory? Sorry Mate, Portugal had nothing to do with it. Rafa screwed you this time,it wasn't a conspiracy either. As a matter of fact, Mexico was getting more kudos from the international community during this tournament than ever before. Despite the ugly chants and videos of fans sealing beers from concessions. Face it, El Tri had an amazing tournament up until El Capitan OD'd on his own ego.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.
    Why is it hating mexico makes you guys think you are better supporters of USA?? If a ref decides a game like this with a terrible call for somebody that dove the entire game without so much as a warning, well its natural to state those facts. The one thing that can not be taken away from Mexico is how well it played and how convincing it was in all of it's performances. Wish we could say the same about all Concacaf teams. Go Costa Rica!!

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 9:47 a.m.
    I guess Klins complaining about the ref he will have is ok, right?? You guys are funny as hell. Common rule in World Cupo competitions - no refs from the 2 federations. Common sense. But I guess thats nonexistent on this blog.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 9:50 a.m.
    Mexico dominated Cameroon and Croatia. Tied the host favorites and was robbed from a very convincing handling of Netherlands, another Euro favorite. All your hate will not take any of that away.

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.
    I guess so many Mexican fans are so classless that now that Mexico is out, they root for USA heavily to win today. All Spanish speaking show commentators are wearing USA shirts and rooting for "one of theirs" USA USA. I have yet to ever see that from a USA fan much less from one of their dry ass commentators on TV. Great example boys!!

  1. New WorldOrder
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 11:34 a.m.
    How come FIFA was so harsh on Suarez for biting incident and not robben, who openly admitted to diving throughout the game?? How come SoccerAmerica isnt covering Robben's "apology" for diving in the Mexico game?? Wow, all this class shown is inspiring!!


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