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Dramatic Dutch hold their courage with late rally

Netherlands 2 Mexico 1

Published 29/06/2014 | 19:03

Dirk Kuyt of the Netherlands celebrates after team mate Wesley Sneijder scored a goal during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Mexico
Dirk Kuyt of the Netherlands celebrates after team mate Wesley Sneijder scored a goal during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Mexico
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of the Netherlands scores from the penalty spot to send Holland through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexico at Fortaleza.
Mexico's Giovani Dos Santos celebrates after scoring a goal past goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen of the Netherlands during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza
Jasper Cillessen of the Netherlands picks the ball out of the net as Mexico's Giovani Dos Santos celebrates his goal
Netherlands' players react after Mexico's Giovani Dos Santos scored a goal during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza
Mexico's Giovani Dos Santos scores a goal during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against the Netherlands at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza
Jasper Cillessen of the Netherlands dives but fails to save a goal shot by Mexico's Giovani Dos Santos

A stoppage time penalty from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gave the Netherlands a dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexico in the second round of the World Cup on Sunday minutes after the Mexicans had seemed certain to reach the quarter-finals.

With two minutes to play Mexico were leading 1-0 but Wesley Sneijder pulled the Dutch level with a fierce drive, seemingly forcing the match into extra time.

Then, in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes, Mexico captain Rafael Marquez was judged to have tripped Arjen Robben in the penalty area and Huntelaar converted the spot kick to take the Dutch through.

They will play either Greece or Costa Rica in Salvador next Saturday and will fancy their chances of making the last four.

It was a cruel ending for Mexico, who dominated much of the match and took the lead just after the break through forward Giovani Dos Santos.

He chested the ball down 30 metres from goal before firing a low left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The Dutch almost equalised 10 minutes later when their big centre back Stefan De Vrij forced a brilliant reflex save from Guillermo Ochoa. The keeper parried the effort on to his left hand post and his defenders cleared it to safety.

The Dutch victory follows their swashbuckling performances in the group stage as their quest for a first World Cup title goes on.

For the Mexicans, defeat meant more second-round heartache.

They have now reached the last 16 at six consecutive World Cups and have lost every time.

Online Editors

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