After leading nearly the entire second half, Mexico were stunned in the final moments of the round of 16 when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored following a Rafa Marquez penalty in stoppage time in the 94th minute to secure a 2-1 win for the Netherlands.
Mike Anstead of the Daily Mail provides a look at Huntelaar's celebration following the goal:
It was a massive penalty kick for the Netherlands after struggling to secure goals throughout the match. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder struck just minutes before the end of regulation with a goal in the 88th minute to finally put the Oranje on the board and level the score 1-1.
The goal was nearly as clutch as they come in the World Cup knockout stage, as Paul Carr of ESPN notes:
While the goal was clearly the most crucial moment of the match for Huntelaar, Bolarinwa also points out his late impact against Mexico:
Despite the fact that the Netherlands were left to celebrate, it was yet another brilliant match for Guillermo Ochoa. After his heroics against Brazil in the group stage, the Mexican keeper was left heartbroken after the loss, per Bleacher Report UK:
Huntelaar's goal was huge, but it didn't come without controversy. Some questioned whether or not the penalty was legitimate, as Sporting News notes:
ESPN FC also takes a look at the penalty for Marquez on Arjen Robben:
Following the game, Robben spoke about the penalty and other decisions during the match (via The Telegraph):
"I must apologise," Robben was quoted as telling Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. "The one [at the end] was a penalty, but the other one was a dive in the first half. I shouldn't be doing that."
Mexico manager Miguel Herrera commented on the decision after the match (via Sam Borden of the New York Times):
Herrera continued to comment on the refereeing decisions in the match (via talkSPORT):
"Out of the four matches here in all of them the refereeing was disastrous,” he fumed.
"Robben did three dives and he should have been cautioned. You should caution a guy who is trying to cheat, and then if Robben did it again he would be sent off.
"And why did FIFA choose a referee from the same confederation as Holland instead of one from South America, Asia or Africa?
"The doubtful decisions were always against us. We have to say it in capital letters; in three matches we had horrible refereeing. The man with the whistle knocked us out.
"I want the referee committee to take a look and that the referee goes home just like us."
The penalty kick for Huntelaar sealed the fate for Mexico as they bow out of the World Cup and the Netherlands move forward to face the winner of Costa Rica vs. Greece. After struggling to simply make the field, Mexico advanced and had hopes of making their first quarterfinal since 1986.
As for Huntelaar and the Dutch, they have a shot at making a second consecutive semifinals appearance when they duel with either Costa Rica or Greece. Equipped with Huntelaar, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, the Netherlands look like one of the top teams in the tournament after narrowly defeating Mexico.
Despite the wild finish against Mexico, the Netherlands still have a potent attack that will make them a strong country moving forward. Thanks to the foot of Huntelaar, they live to fight another day in the World Cup.
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