Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a late penalty as the Netherlands scraped into the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup with a fortuitous 2-1 victory over an excellent Mexico side.
Mexico dominated proceedings in the first half, controlling possession in difficult temperatures, and talkSPORT tweeted this about Mexico's performance:
That domination was rewarded in the 48th minute when Giovani dos Santos struck home from the edge of the Dutch penalty area with a sweet strike that sent the Mexican following into raptures.
Kobe Bryant went to Twitter to show his appreciation for Dos Santos' finish:
Former Australian international Harry Kewell heralded Dos Santos, whom he played with at Galatasaray back in 2010:
Despite struggling in the first half, Louis van Gaal's men attacked the Mexicans with renewed vigour. Their goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa, was in sparkling form each match, and his display against hosts Brazil in the group stage was one of the performances of the tournament. Ochoa was back at his best on Sunday.
Stefan de Vrij directed a bullet header at Ochoa's goal, but the Mexican shot-stopper produced a miraculous reaction save to preserve his side's lead.
Bleacher Report UK showed just how quickly Ochoa had to react to deny the Dutch:
British comedian Omid Djalili shared his disbelief:
Even Bryant was back again moments later:
Ochoa may have been putting in a performance to remember, but even he couldn't deny Wesley Sneijder's powerful shot in the 88th minute. It brought heartbreak for the Mexicans, who had dominated much of this clash, but opportunities like this are routine for the Dutchman as he sent the ball home with aplomb.
Former Liverpool forward Luis Garcia summed up the mood following the goal:
This was a cruel twist of fate for Ochoa, who had once again enhanced his reputation. But things would get worse moments later. Arjen Robben, on a typically jinking run, was brought down by Mexican skipper Rafael Marquez in the box and a penalty was awarded.
This was harsh on a Mexican side that had matched their Dutch counterparts for much of this contest. Almost inevitably, Huntelaar stepped up and sent Ochoa the wrong way with his 94th-minute penalty.
The goalkeeper's heartbreak was epitomised by this image:
And as if to rub salt into Ochoa's wounds, FIFA announced him as Man of the Match following a display that could not quite prevent the Dutch onslaught:
But the former Ajaccio keeper will be on the radar of Europe's elite clubs after a tournament in which he announced himself as one of the world's finest goalkeepers. It is hard to believe that the Guadalajara-born Ochoa is without a club in view of his showings in Brazil, but that is unlikely to remain the case for long.
Conversely, Dos Santos has enjoyed a fine season at Villarreal following his move from Tottenham Hotspur. Having struggled to impose himself on the Premier League, Dos Santos hit 11 goals in La Liga last term and will look to build upon that impressive start next season.
For Mexico, however, there is the heartbreak of knowing that they were never outplayed in a tournament in which, with greater luck, they could have advanced to the business end of proceedings.
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