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Netherlands vs. Mexico: Score, Grades and Reaction from International Friendly

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 12, 2014

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Mexico rose to beat the Netherlands, 3-2, in their friendly fixture on Wednesday, earning slight revenge for their round-of-16 exit at the 2014 World Cup.      

Coach Miguel Herrera's men were devastated to fall out of the knockout stages in Brazil and showed a far meaner streak this time around, largely inspired by a Carlos Vela brace as the striker made his return to international football.    

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 12:  Ricardo Van Rhijn of Netherlands and Carlos Vela of Mexico battle for the ball during the international friendly match between Netherlands and Mexico held at the Amsterdam ArenA on November 12, 2014 in Amsterdam, Net
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Guus Hiddink's side have been below par in Euro 2016 qualification after losing two of their three fixtures so far, and El Tri highlighted further shortfalls on Wednesday as the World Cup finalists were left dismayed in Amsterdam.  

Vela's opener pointed out that the most pertinent of those issues at the time was the pressuring of opposition on the ball. The Real Sociedad star was allowed to cut in and stride toward Tim Krul's goal, blasting home a curling strike.

433Live posted footage of the sensational long-range effort:

433LIVE @433LIVE

Carlos Vela scores after being out of the Mexico squad for three years! 0-1 against The Netherlands. #nedmex https://t.co/Iw7Qr5qqWj

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Of course, that isn't to take anything away from Vela's first, and Herrera may only hope that this performance was the start of greater things to come from a man not long ago taken out of the Mexico fold.

It took the striker just eight minutes to open the scoreline, while the only Dutch contribution early on was to see Ron Vlaar pick up an injury and make way for Stefan de Vrij.

Wesley Sneijder didn't enjoy his best outing in the Netherlands capital, but just a few minutes into the second period, he levelled the scoring with a stellar, snap-reaction volley:

433LIVE @433LIVE

What a goal! Wesley Sneijder makes it 1-1! Brilliant! #nedmex https://t.co/Z3MkU0DXhd

Building on the momentum established after conceding the opener, the hosts cut out chances for themselves, but a misfiring Klaas-Jan Huntelaar playing between Memphis Depay and Arjen Robben couldn't convert.

Mexico were more clinical among their frontmen, and substitute Jesus Manuel Corona picked Vela out to send the forward clear on Krul's goal.

Bleacher Report UK showed he made no mistakes in his finish:

B/R Football @brfootball

Carlos Vela - no Mexico goals for 4 years, then 2 in an hour. Live: http://t.co/MniHfcvxRc #NEDvMEX #ElTri https://t.co/DizshHRRTI

Summarising the cutthroat streak El Tri appear to have come upon, it was only seven more minutes before Javier Hernandez, on loan at Real Madrid from Manchester United, would give Mexico their third, per Soccer Gods:

Soccer Gods @soccergods

Chicharito makes it 3-1 for Mexico and 1-0 vs. the offside flag. https://t.co/rVb46vYf8P

Spanish newspaper AS was too swift to point out all three Mexican goals had come from within La Liga's ranks:

AS English @English_AS

Mexico are 3-1 up against Holland thanks to Real Madrid's Javier Hernández. The returning Carlos Vela, of la Real, scored their first two.

Again the Netherlands would push, but Huntelaar was but one of several forward-thinking members of the home outfit enduring a frustrating time in front of goal.

The Schalke front man made one particularly glaring miss on the night, along with numerous other attempts sent directly at Mexican No. 1 Guillermo Ochoa:

B/R Football @brfootball

Astonishing miss from @KJ_Huntelaar Free agent in the summer, even Spurs won't take him on this form #NEDvMEX #ElTri https://t.co/4oQawpP5hF

Ochoa's reputation as an instinctive shot-stopper rose tremendously at the World Cup, but there was little he was able to do about either of the Netherlands' goals on Wednesday evening.

With the help of a deflection, Daley Blind gave the Dutch a glimmer of hope with this 74th-minute belter, which World Soccer Talk captured:

World Soccer Talk @worldsoccertalk

Blind makes it 3-2 after his deflected strike beat Ochoa. #NED #MEX https://t.co/CSSj5VDX2F [via @6secondsavage]

El Tri would hang on for their result, however, and despite the hugely differing ways in which each side ended their 2014 World Cups, it would seem Herrera has led his team to improve more.

As Dutch Football illustrates, one can say the Netherlands may be missing the guiding hand of Louis van Gaal, with Hiddink struggling for results back in charge of the national side:

Selected Player Ratings

Carlos Vela: A

La Real's brightest star didn't put many a foot wrong on Wednesday. In his two goals, we saw both a predatory instinct and the potential for more enigmatic delivery.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 12:  Carlos Vela #11 of Mexico is congratulated by team mates after scoring the first goal of the game during the international friendly match between Netherlands and Mexico held at the Amsterdam ArenA on November 12, 201
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

That combination of long- and short-range impact ultimately set Mexico on their way to the upset in Amsterdam, a hugely promising international comeback for the striker.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: D

Sticking with the frontmen, whereas Vela thrived in confidence and seemed to trouble the opponent with the vast majority of what was launched in his direction, Huntelaar struggled for impact.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 12:  Klaas Jan Huntelaar of Netherlands holds his head after a missed chance on goal during the international friendly match between Netherlands and Mexico held at the Amsterdam ArenA on November 12, 2014 in Amsterdam, Ne
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

There were numerous times where "The Hunter" got into good positions and indeed had the opportunity to damage Mexico's defence, but a lack of composure at key moments and a lack of movement made for a disappointing outing.

Javier Hernandez: B+

In Hernandez and Vela, Mexico have a truly daunting pair of attackers, leaving Herrera with something of a dilemma in seeing where Giovani dos Santos and Oribe Peralta fit in amongst it all.

As ever, Hernandez was full of running and admittedly let tempers run slightly high at times, even wasting some of his endeavour. In all, however, it was a positive display, justly rewarded with a calmly finished winner.

Post-Match Reaction

Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl shared this telling stat regarding the Netherlands' struggles:

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

Guus Hiddink: Now 1 win (vs Kazakhstan) & 4 losses since taking over again as Netherlands coach. NED is 1-2 in Euro 2016 qualifying group.

Michiel Jongsma of OptaJohan chimed in as well:

Michiel Jongsma @JongsmaJongsma

The Dutch have conceded the first goal in every game under Hiddink since his return. Happened under Van Gaal quite a lot too.

OptaJohan also shared this historical fact for Hiddink:

OptaJohan @OptaJohan

4 - Guus Hiddink is the only Netherlands coach to lose 4 of his first 5 games after (re-)appointment (in 1995 & 2014). Historic.

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