Netherlands vs Mexico: live –

Mexico: Ochoa, Aguilar, Rodriguez, Marquez, Moreno, Layun, Salcido,
Herrera, Guardado, Giovani, Peralta. Subs: Corona, Reyes, Fabian,
Jimenez, Pulido, Hernandez, Ponce, Brizuela, Aquino, Pena, Talavera.

Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal)

16.12 It’s about 86 degrees in Fortaleza right now.

16.08 The afternoon’s first email comes in from Philip Podolsky:

E-mailVan Gaal is such a brainy chap. I like that the qualities which make him a
world class manager are, in the outside world, most readily associated with
madcap, brilliant academics, whereas the qualities that made Fergie a
managerial great are consistent with being a Glaswegian crime kingpin.
Mourinho? A devilishly cunning Wall Street ace, I’d say.

15.58 The Telegraph’s Mark Ogden has a piece on Mexico for your
perusal right here.

Louis van Gaal’s Dutch players will not know what has hit them when they
take to the field in Fortaleza for Sunday’s World Cup second-round tie
against Mexico.

A 1pm kick-off (5pm BST) in temperatures approaching 90 degrees is the
statistical reality, but throw in some oppressive humidity and a stadium
with barely any shade and you begin to question Mexico’s status as underdogs
at the Estadio Castelao.

A northern European team against a group of players not only accustomed to
the conditions but also likely to be backed by thousands of their noisy
supporters who will have made the relatively short trip from Central America
and it is beginning to resemble an uphill task for Holland.

All of that does not take into consideration Mexico’s comfortable
qualification from Group A following victories over Cameroon and Croatia and
goalless draw with Brazil in the same Fortaleza stadium where they will face
the Dutch.

Mark has spoken to some folk who have first-hand experience of facing
Mexico in searing World Cup heat

“We had a training camp for 10 or twelve days before the World Cup and
Jack had us wearing these woolly jumpers,” said Alan Kelly, Ireland’s
reserve goalkeeper at the tournament.

“And there was a rule in that World Cup where you couldn’t drink water
during the game, so Jack wouldn’t let us have a drink during training.

“It was 115 degrees in the stadium that day, how anyone can play
football in that I don’t know.

“I was sat on the bench and I felt uncomfortable just watching that
day, so what the players out there felt like I don’t know.”

15.55 The Dutch looking to strike a blow for the Old World and become
the first European team in the last eight. I am very much hoping that we has
many Southern, Central and North American teams as possible in the quarters.
And wouldn’t it be cool if we had a first-time winner? Colombia, maybe?

15.45 Their opponents, of course, are Mexico. Well, here’s our blaggers’
, for starters. They outnumber the Dutch in the stadium by a
huge margin, or so we just heard on the radio.

15.30 Afternoon all. Tyers here. Get ready for the third game of the
knockout phase: it it’s as enjoyable as yesterday’s two matches, we should
be in for a fun afternoon.

The Dutch, then. Tallest nation in Europe. Fond of bicycles, being liberal,
playing excellent football but always getting turned over by a more ruthless
outfit. They bucked the trend of 1974 and 1978 last tournament by playing
like a bunch of nutters in the final, and losing to a more unattractive
side. Weird. They have produced the most surprising and impressive
performances of this World Cup so far by hammering Spain. But then again,
they were decidedly suspect against the Aussies and might have well lost to

This excellent piece by our Dutch exshpert Elko Born does a really good
job of explaining the
‘style or substance’ debate
that runs through the heart of Dutch
football like an attractive canal through Amsterdam.


Wesley Sneijder believes the Netherlands can go one better than four years ago
and win the World Cup, although that does not mean he is taking Sunday’s
last-16 opponents Mexico lightly.

The Oranje made it all the way to the final in South Africa in 2010, only to
fall at the final hurdle as Andres Iniesta’s extra-time goal secured Spain a
1-0 win.

They managed to exact some revenge for the defeat in Johannesburg by thrashing
the reigning champions 5-1 in the their first match of Group B, which they
went on to win at a canter thanks to victories over Australia and Chile.

Louis van Gaal’s side will be looking to extend that winning run when they
take on Mexico in Fortaleza on Sunday – a match Sneijder approaches with the
pain of 2010 fresh in his mind.

“When I start a tournament, I always want to win it,” the Silver
Ball winner four years ago said. “And, of course, some are much easier
to win than others.

“Four years ago, for example, it was a tough challenge for us but
everything in the group was good and the whole process worked well for us.

“But we played the final and we lost. That was one of the toughest
moments of my career so far.

“But the beautiful thing about football is that you always have the
chance to gain a bit of revenge, and here we are four years later. And why
can’t we win it this time? I think we have a great team and a great spirit,
so we have to go for it.”

Netherlands coach Van Gaal has urged Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca to allow
water breaks during Sunday’s match, given the mercury is set to tip 30
degrees Celsius.

It is heat and humidity the Dutchman expects to give a helping hand to a
Mexico side Sneijder is not taking lightly.

“We are very confident, but we always have to look to our next opponents
and Mexico have a good team,” the Galatasaray midfielder said.

“They’re a tough team to play against so, yes, we’ll have to concentrate
and focus purely on this match. After that, let’s see what happens.”

The match offers Mexico the chance to reach the quarter-finals for the first
time since 1986.

El Tri have fallen at the round-of-16 juncture in their last five World Cup
campaigns and know if they can end that run a seemingly winnable last-eight
clash with Greece or Costa Rica awaits.

Mexico qualified as runners-up to hosts Brazil in Group A and left wing-back
Andres Guardado is confident they can spring a surprise at the Estadio

“We’re honestly not afraid of anything, we’re happy to take on anyone and
fully expect to come away with the win,” the 27-year-old, with 105 caps
to his name, said.

“We’re going to go toe-to-toe (with the Netherlands), we’re going to make
their life difficult and prove to them that Mexico are no pushovers.

“We’ll be gunning for a place in the next round, that’s what we all
really want.”

Netherlands vs Mexico: live –

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