Felipe Dana/AP/Press Association Images
As it happened: Holland v Mexico, World Cup last 16
We followed every minute of today’s game as Miguel Herrera’s side did battle with the brilliant Oranje.

We’ve done okay with the knock-out stage so far, haven’t we? There was the drama and intensity of Brazil’s penalty shoot-out victory over Chile followed by James Rodriguez’ brilliance in spearheading Colombia’s win over Uruguay.

So, let’s hope for something similar today as Holland take on Mexico in Fortaleza.  

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game.  Tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Holland 2-1 Mexico (Dos Santos 48, Sneijder 88, Huntelaar 94)

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our coverage of what promises to be an intriguing battle between two sides that have really brightened up this tournament.

Let’s get straight to the teams.

Netherlands starting XI: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Blind, De Jong, Van Persie (c), Sneijder, Robben, Verhaegh, Kuyt, Wijnaldum.

Mexico starting XI: Ochoa, Rodriguez, Salcido, Marquez (c), Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar.

So, the big news is that Dirk Kuyt becomes the seventh Dutch player to win 100 caps. Probably the bigger news is that he looks set to play as a wing-back in place of the injured Bruno Martins Indi – just as he did against Chile.

Carlos Salcido comes into the Mexico team due to Jose Vasquez’s one-game suspension while there’s no place for Javier Hernandez in the starting line-up as  Miguel Herrera stands by Oribe Peralta.

It’s tough not to like Miguel Herrera.

I have my own [style] that has given me good results. The screams on the bench, everything that we live, what we have on the bench with the boys. That is why the boys have that attitude, the running, the fighting, the will to do things.”

As a player, Herrera didn’t make it to USA ’94 as part of the Mexican team. This is why. And it’s amazing.

Punto Sport / YouTube

This is how FIFA have the Dutch lining up – with four at the back. But the word is that they’re going to stick by the wing-back system that’s brought them so much success.

About to get underway here. But here’s a quick stat for you. Mexico have only ever qualified for the quarter-finals when the country hosted the tournament (1970 and 1986).


2nd minute – First shot at goal and it’s Mexico that try their luck. Layun cuts inside from the left and has a go – well wide though.

Nice look at both formations here. Holland happy to sit back and allow Mexico on to them in the early stages. Layun already seeing a bit of the ball wide left.

It’s very, very warm in Fortaleza. We’re being told that there will be a three-minute break in both halves to give the players a chance to take on some fluids. It’s currently 29 degrees and 68% humidity – and it’s only going to get stickier.

9th minute – SUBSTITUTION! Martins Indi (on) – De Jong (off)

Well this is strange. Martins Indi has been recovering from concussion and wasn’t expected to feature here. But he’s in within ten minutes, replacing De Jong who picked up some sort of injury. It just means that Daley Blind has pushed into midfield with Martins Indi slotting into defence.

14th minute – CLOSE! Layun has seen a lot of the ball already and he tears past Paul Verhaegh and sends in a brilliant low ball that zips right across the six-yard area but there’s no one there to knock it home. He showed great pace and easily got clear. That’s a worry for Van Gaal, certainly.

17th minute – VERY CLOSE! Mexico are well on top here. A cross from the left to the back-post is pin-point and Martins Indi gets caught underneath it. It’s eventually teed up for Herrera (who has been superb in this tournament) on the edge of the area but he has to check back inside, re-adjust his feet and try and fire a low strike to the bottom corner. It rolls past the post and it’s a narrow escape for the Dutch. Best chance yet.

20th minute – CLOSE! That defensive shift has really affected the Dutch in a bad way. A simple ball through the middle and Herrera is onto it - Cillessen comes rushing off his line and is caught in no-man’s land. The Mexican midfielder looks to head it towards goal but Vlaar dives in to deflect the ball away and smacks Herrera ‘right in the snot’, as Brian Kerr would say.

23rd minute – CLOSE! Another effort from the Mexicans as Carlos Salcido shoots from distance. It’s bending and swerving all over the place and Cillessen pushes it away – though he doesn’t look too secure.

28th minute – CLOSE! Shots raining in on the Dutch goal now. Dos Santos tries his luck from distance but it’s a weak effort and doesn’t really trouble Cillessen who gleefully clutches it.

32nd minute – COOLING BREAK!

So, here’s the very first three-minute cooling break of the World Cup. And here’s a video to explain why FIFA has introduced them.

FIFATV / YouTube

The tempo has been greatly affected because of the heat and humidity. The Dutch certainly aren’t coping as well as Mexico and they haven’t been able to create any real clear-cut chance.

We’re back underway after that three-minute interlude, by the way. Ten minutes to go until half-time.

Van Gaal needs to make a change because Verhaegh is being destroyed by Layun down Mexico’s left side. And Miguel Herrera knows it’s a weak-spot his side can exploit. Interesting to see if there’s a half-time switch.

By the way, it’s SO hot in the stadium that spectators have left their assigned seats to sit in the shade. That will tell you how intensely warm it is. And so much time left.

41st minute – VERY CLOSE! Mexico burst through the middle and a neat flick plays in Guardado – the ball comes off his shin and Dos Santos chases it into the right channel. He gets the shot in but Cillessen is well-positioned at his near post to make the block.

47th minute – VERY CLOSE! Holland have created nothing in the opening period but they really should’ve scored here. Rodriguez plays a pass across his defence, Marquez isn’t expecting it and it runs through for Van Persie. He waits for Robben to run on his inside but the pass is just slightly behind the Bayern Munich man. But he does control it and really should’ve played it straight back to Van Persie. Instead, he holds it too long and Marquez gets back to make a challenge. Let-off for Mexico.

HALF-TIME! Wow. It’s even been energy-sapping just watching this game. The players are playing at half-pace as a result of the conditions and any counter-attack or fast-paced move is taking so much out of the teams. This could be decided by a mistake or a set-piece. As we saw at the end of the first-half, switching off, even momentarily, could prove the difference.

On RTE, John Giles has said Robben and Van Persie not helping out their side defensively is a risk. But the strategy is obviously to keep them fresh up front and get the most from them on the counter attack. It very nearly worked a treat in first-half injury-time.

In other news…Phil Jones has posted this picture to his Instagram.

46th minute – SUBSTITUTION! Reyes (in) – Moreno (out)

Moreno picked up an injury right at the end of the opening period so it’s no surprise that he hasn’t re-emerged.

48th minute – GOAL! Dos Santos!

Well. That’s changed things. Mexico deserve it. And it’s a well-struck effort from the attacking midfielder. It’s a half-clearance from the Dutch and Dos Santos comes onto it, chests it down and forces his way across goal, onto his favoured left and sends a rasping drive low to the bottom corner. Cillessen couldn’t get near it and it’s game on.

Really well hit. The Dutch always pushing him onto his better foot. But it’s a great strike. Hard to be too tough on the defenders.

And here’s what Miguel Herrera thought of that goal. You’re welcome.

57th minute – VERY CLOSE! Wow. Ochoa, once again, has come up trumps with a point-blank save. It comes from a corner that’s flicked on at the near post. De Vrij gets a shot in from inside six-yards and Ochoa just reacts to it and sticks his gloves up. It deflects off the keeper and catches the inside of the upright before being cleared. The Dutch really going for it now.

57th minute – SUBSTITUTION! Memphis Depay (on) - Verhaegh (off)

61st minute – SUBSTITUTION! Acquino (on) – Dos Santos (off)

Here’s that Ochoa save. It’s great goalkeeping. But it’s incredibly unlucky too. Coming back off the inside of the post.

67th minute – CLOSE! Peralta is offside but he tucks it away pretty nicely. It’s out of character for Mexico because they’ve rarely ventured forward since opening the scoring.

Mexico are enjoying themselves. So are their fans back home.

72nd minute – Holland are pushing now. Enjoying all of the possession and forcing some set-pieces. They have some good targets at dead-balls and Vlaar has caused some trouble in the last few moments.

74th minute – VERY CLOSE! Ochoa again. Robben rampages through the right channel of the area and hurdles the challenge of Marquez before smacking it goal-wards but the goalkeeper gets down and blocks at his near post. On Robben’s weaker foot but it was still a really impressive stop.

76th minute – SUBSTITUTION! Huntelaar (on) – Van Persie (off)

Well this is strange. The captain has been taken off. Van Gaal clearly showing his ruthlessness. Not the attacker’s best game but surely it would make sense to keep him on, just in case?

And we have our second and final cooling break.

79th minute – CLOSE! Salcido challenges with a couple of Dutch players on the edge of the area and it falls nicely for him. The shot is too high and doesn’t trouble Cillessen.

85th minute – VERY CLOSE! At first glance, it looks like Ochoa has come to his side’s rescue again. There’s a cross from the right, a flick-on and Huntelaar stretches to send it to the net. But Ochoa smothers again from close range. But the whistle had gone and Huntelaar was offside. Ochoa wasn’t to know that though.

88th minute – GOAL! Sneijder! 

There it is! A sense of inevitability about it. Holland have pushed and pushed. They decided to go direct and Van Gaal took off Van Persie because of that. And the goal came from another corner. Sent to the far post, Huntelaar inadvertently sends it towards the edge of the box and Sneijder was on it in a flash. Getting his right foot perfectly over it, he drilled it low inside the near post. A terrific hit. And because of the pressure they’ve put Mexico under since going behind, they deserve it.

92nd minute – PENALTY! Holland! 

Marquez takes Robben down in the area. What a moment. The veteran with the error. He gets a yellow card. Robben made the most of it but Marquez put his foot in an there was contact. Huntelaar is stepping up…

94th minute – GOAL! Huntelaar! 

Up steps the substitute and sends a perfect penalty to the bottom corner. Ochoa goes the wrong way but it’s expertly-placed. What a finish here. What a finish.

An incredible finale. Huntelaar coming off the bench and keeping his cool.

FULL-TIME! That’s it. What an awful way for Mexico to go out (if there is a good way). Conceding twice in the last six minutes. The equaliser was a terrific strike from Sneijder but there was some poor defending too. The penalty will get plenty of analysis with many sure to condemn Robben but Marquez did foul. Robben exaggerated it but I think it was a penalty.

Huntelaar kept his nerve and they’ve certainly got out of jail here. A quarter-final against Greece or Costa Rica and that would point to a final-four place – probably facing Argentina.  What do you think? Do they have what it takes to be crowned champions?

Thanks for staying with us. Plenty of reaction and analysis to come on the site throughout the rest of the evening.

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