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When and Where
12 PM ET, Estadio Castelão, Fortaleza, Brazil
How They Got Here
The Netherlands opened up this tournament by throttling defending champion Spain 5-1. The Dutch were out for blood and got the revenge they have been waiting four years to get. That's why it should come as no surprise that there was a drop in their play in their second match against Australia. The Aussies were actually up 2-1 on the Dutch at one point. However, the Netherlands came back and won a tight one 3-2 and advanced to the round of sixteen. They met up with Chile in their final match in what was a winner-take-all result for the top of the group. The Netherlands won 2-0. They outscored their opponents 10-3 in the three games and look to continue their run against Mexico.
The Mexicans opened this World Cup with a 1-0 win against Cameroon. It was a shaky win and was the closest Cameroon came to victory in this tournament (more like closest to not losing). Then they played Brazil and were dominated by them, but were bailed out by their goalkeeper Guillermo "Memo" Ochoa. His play against Brazil was one for the ages and had the Brazilians shaking their head. The match ended in a 0-0 draw and the Mexicans only needed a draw against Croatia to advance. They did one better. Mexico won 3-1 and played by far their best game of the tournament. It's always better to play your best at the end, and even though Mexico was lucky to even qualify for Brazil, they have made the most of their opportunity and look to continue their solid play against a European powerhouse.
Robin van Persie, Netherlands
Spain had the better of the play and seemed like they were going into halftime up 1-0 on the Netherlands. That was until van Persie's incredible header tied up the score, which seemed to rejuvenate his squad. They came out in the second half and trounced the champs 4-0 en route to a 5-1 win. He is key for this team going forward. His combination of size and speed makes him a difficult player to defend against. In many ways, the Dutch go as van Persie goes and so far, it's going well.
Javier Hernandez, Mexico
Better known as Chicharito, the super-sub for Mexico is vital for their success. I say super-sub because he comes off the bench, which appears to be working. A player of his caliber is good enough to start, but due to his struggles for El Tri, he was moved to the bench. Against the Netherlands, Mexico is going to need to score goals and he can provide the jolt they will probably need off the bench. And who knows, maybe Miguel Herrera, the Mexican coach - who is just a privilege to watch on the sideline - opts to start Chicharito against the mighty Dutch.
Netherlands wins 2-0
Mexico's last game was promising, but the Netherlands should prove to be too much. Mexico only scored 1 goal in their first two matches and the Netherlands play some of the stingiest defense in the world. It will be tough for Mexico to amount much of an attack if the Dutch are playing their game. Van Persie and Arjen Robben are quite possibly the best one-two punch in the world. I don't think Mexico has the talent to win, but expect a tough, physical match.
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