Oh man...the third heartbreak game in this World Cup, this time for the Mexicans (the fourth, arguably, if you include Bosnia vs. Nigeria). First the United States miss out on a guaranteed second-round berth due to a Cristiano Ronaldo cross in the very last minute; then the Ivory Coast are eliminated by a Greek penalty in stoppage time, and now this. Mexico had the Dutch on the ropes for fifty minutes, and manage to lose it in the last five. I think the final scoreline was more testament to the Mexican strength than it was to the Dutch weakness. No one expected Mexico to put up such a strong showing, but they did. Sorry, El Tri.
Since I didn't record my thoughts on the last two games, I'll do that now.
Brazil vs. Chile
Winner: Brazil, 1-1 (advances on penalty kicks)
My Thoughts: Alexis Sanchez (CHI) played a very solid game. Hulk (BRA) faltered in the first half, but came out strong in the second, while Neymar seemed to fade into the background. Fred and Oscar were pretty much invisible. If I was a Brazilian fan, I'd be worried. Very worried indeed.
Man of the Match: David Luiz (BRA). Not for his goal, which was pretty much an own-goal off a Chilean defender, but for his incredible sliding save in the second half, without which Chile would have won this match 2-1. It also doesn't hurt that Luiz sunk his penalty shot to help Brazil win.
Colombia vs. Uruguay
Winner: Colombia, 2-0
My Thoughts: Did the Uruguayans ever miss Luis Suarez. Man, did they miss him. Diego Forlan just couldn't fill his shoes, and the Colombians ran roughshod over their South American rivals, as I predicted they would.
Man of the Match: James Rodriguez (COL). I told you this kid was special. Especially with Cuadrado feeding him the ball.
Netherlands vs. Mexico
Winner: Netherlands, 2-1
My Thoughts: What a nailbiter of a game, especially if you're Dutch. The Mexicans surely feel like they've had the rug pulled out away from under them. The goal by Wesley Sneijder (NED) was a thing of beauty, and there wasn't a thing on Earth Guillermo Ochoa (MEX) could have done about it. The foul on Arjen Robben (NED) in the second half which set up the Huntelaar penalty shot probably shouldn't have been called, but a penalty should have been awarded for the Netherlands in the first half, so I suppose it balances out.
Man of the Match: Wesley Sneijder.