Featured Matches
Previous
Arsenal
Besiktas
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Besiktas
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Steaua Bucuresti
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Malmo FF
SV Salzburg
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bradford City
Leeds United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
DC United
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
León
Herediano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Municipal
Pachuca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cobresal
General Díaz
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Trujillanos
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Libertad
Nacional Potosí
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
River Plate
Universidad Católica
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportivo La Guaira
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Barcelona
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Atletico Rafaela
Newell's Old Boys
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
River Plate
Defensa y Justicia
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Boca Juniors
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
U.A.N.L
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Celaya
ESPNDeportes 12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Oaxaca
Chiapas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Mérida
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Zacatepec
Guadalajara
ESPNDeportes 2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América RN
Atletico Paranaense
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Santa Rita
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Botafogo
Ceará
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bragantino
Corinthians
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
Flamengo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Palmeiras
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
LDU Quito
Deportivo Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Seoul
Pohang Steelers
10:30 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Guangzhou Evergrande
Western Sydney Wanderers
12:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Amazulu
Bloem Celtic
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Pretoria Univ
Free State Stars
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Silver Stars
Kaizer Chiefs
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SuperSport United
Mpumalanga Black Aces
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Saprissa
Santos
Postp
Game Details
Carmelita
Club Sport Uruguay
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cartagines
Perez Zeledon
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Antigua
Marquense
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Petapa
Coatepeque
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vida
Marathon
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Three Points: Barcelona vs. Elche

La Liga 2 days ago
Read
 Posted by Andrea Canales
Jun 29, 2014

Mexico's dream dies in Dutch defeat

Two late goals from Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar doomed Mexico's hopes of reaching the quarterfinals.
It was once so hopeful and so vibrant in Fortaleza. The fans in the stands were singing the national anthem along with the players. The early chances, six of them in the first half, belonged to El Tri, with only one for the Dutch.

The heat was clearly a factor in the match. Mexico's players handled it better, producing lively runs and dangerous opportunities. The Netherlands players looked weary and wilted, with few runs into Mexico's box. Nigel de Jong did not last even 10 minutes, getting subbed out early apparently due to injury, although he walked off the field on his own power.

Yet Mexico could not finish their attempts on goal. Miguel Layun, Hector Herrera, Gio dos Santos and Carlos Salcido missed wide or high or forced Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen into decent, although unspectacular, saves.

Even the most fervent El Tri fan probably felt frustrated as the opening period came to a close, feeling a sickly familiar sense of wasted possibilities and Mexico's talent shining brightly for a while on the world stage before fading away.

Indeed, it seemed as if the opening goal would belong to the Dutch, even after appearing only as a dim shadow of the great squad that dominated Spain. When Arjen Robben went down in Mexico's box in the 45th minute, it was arguably a penalty committed by El Tri captain Rafael Marquez. However, whether due in part to Robben's reputation for diving or not, the foul was not called by Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca and Mexico escaped.

NetherlandsNetherlands
MexicoMexico
2
1
ESPN3, ESPN FT
Match 51
Game Details

Many anticipated the Netherlands would regroup at halftime and come out determined to bury Mexico. Yet it was El Tri that was resolute from the start of the second half. The players carried their momentum from the first half, with a particular crucial difference. In the 48th minute, Dos Santos cracked a shot from the top of the box that had just enough angle to carry past the outstretched arm of Cillessen, who reacted late.

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera leaped into the air to celebrate with his players and all the supporters who breathed a sigh of relief that El Tri had finally applied the right finishing touch to an attack.

Facing elimination from the World Cup, the Dutch put aside their discomfort with the heat and tried to fight their way back into the game. Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who hadn't had to make a single save in the first half, was forced to make an impressive reaction save in the 57th minute on Stefan de Vrij. The ball still nearly sneaked in from the rebound as it hit the post from Ochoa's block, but the bounce was kind to Mexico and fell outside of the goal.

Mexico's fans in the stands, deliriously happy with the lead, were almost afraid to hope their team would hold on. Dutch fans anxiously urged their squad on in the chase for the equalizer.

In the 75th minute, Ochoa stopped a breakaway from Robben again. The ensuing corner led to a Ron Vlaar header that was high over the crossbar.

Ochoa again denied a close-range attack from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the 85th minute. Even though the shot was nullified for being offside, it again revealed how adamant the Mexican squad was about holding on to its dream of a fifth game.

Guillermo Ochoa's heroics in goal were not enough to fend off the Netherlands.
Guillermo Ochoa looked set to repeat his heroics in Fortaleza, making numerous important saves against the Netherlands.

But in the 88th minute, just at the close of the match, hearts broke all over Mexico when Wesley Sneijder shot a rocket through a crowd of players and into the corner of the goal. Ochoa, who was slightly screened by the bodies in front of him, didn't even have time to dive and attempt a save. It was only his second conceded goal of the tournament.

Mexico scrambled to recover from Sneijder's gut punch, to keep the courage they had displayed throughout the match, while the Dutch, heartened by the equaliser, drove on for the win. Perhaps they sensed that the will of El Tri was faltering, or perhaps they were motivated to fight for victory before extra time arrived to sap their fragile energy reserves.

Robben was again dancing with the ball in the box when his touch put the ball just out of the reach of Marquez, who continued his kick into Robben's leg. Robben's dramatic fall was no doubt exaggerated, but the foul was quite clear. This time, Proenca did not hesitate to grant the penalty.

Huntelaar stepped up to take it, staring down Ochoa. His hard, low shot into corner was like a knife into the airy hopes of all Mexico fans, deflating them instantly.

It seemed like a nightmare. Mexico was only five minutes or so from the quarterfinals, from breaking the hex, only to have it all snatched away so quickly and completely by a finally roused Netherlands team.

The dream is dead, but to aim high in a World Cup is always worth dreaming. Mexico leaves Brazil with pride and the dull pain of a heartache that, even after giving it their all, it wasn't quite enough.

Andrea Canales

Andrea Canales has covered soccer for over a decade and has loved the beautiful game most of her life. She has watched games in Azteca, interviewed nine El Tri coaches and covered three World Cups. She lives in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @soccercanales.