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World Cup Round of 16: Your Running Commentary

Ariel Robben

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The Netherlands may have proved some doubters wrong by making it out of the group stage but its goal to make it back to the World Cup final begins on Sunday against Mexico (12 p.m. ESPN).

The Dutch have been firing on all cylinders offensively, scoring 10 goals in their first three matches, and have bought into head coach Louis Van Gaal’s counter-attacking system, much different than the 4-3-3 system that they used throughout the qualification process. Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie have been immense up front but they go up against a similar style in Mexico, as well as a goalkeeper in form.

Guillermo Ochoa has earned the plaudits from around the globe for his performances at the World Cup so far but his three centerbacks in front of him will need to be on their game to stop Van Persie and Robben from exposing their lack of pace. That makes Hector Herrera and Carlos Salcido in defensive midfield that much more important, to cover the space that will be between defense and midfield.

In the second match on Sunday, surprise Group D winners Costa Rica look to earn a place in the quarterfinals for the first time in history against veteran-laden Greece (4 p.m. ESPN). Costa Rica has been defensively stout like the Greeks but took advantage of its comfort of playing in the heat to tire out their opposition with a high-energy pressing game. This match, played in Recife, could have a similar outcome.

If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.



  1. going down to 10 men changed everything. Greece looks like they will score with the constant pressure they are applying. Campbell is gassed

    • I dunno that Costa Rica defending is really a bad idea. That is kinda their thing. Oh it didn’t work. I don’t think it was wrong though.

      Apparently this World Cup trying to defend is a bad idea.

    • It was almost too easy in the end. I’m not sure sure he saw the ball get kicked but it seems odd he never made a move for it.

    • Marquez was definitely late on the challenge (which is what really cost him in the end) and did clip Robben’s foot…Robben’s history or not, there isn’t a player in the world who’s not going down there. I can guarantee if the roles were reversed Chicharito would have had no problem selling a Vlaar foul.

      Mexico killed themselves by taking the foot of the gas following the goal. Why you would want sit back and let the Dutch control the last 40 minutes is beyond me. First time Miguel Herrera didn’t press the magic button since taking over.

    • I think it’s close, but I disagree. Just touching someone doesn’t define a foul–the contact should impede the other player to be a foul. Really, Robben could have continued normally with no problem. He chose to jump, fall, and flail. That’s a dive, for me.

      That said, Mexico would not have survived the extra time, I think, and the Dutch should have gotten a penalty in the first half, so the outcome of this game was right.

      • It’s about denying the attacker an advantage he’s earned. Robben’s skill forced marquez to lunge into his path late with no way to play the ball.

        Sure robben is athletic enough to jump over the leg, but why should he have to? Apparently he’s obligated to reward the defender’s poor play, what, out of the goodness of his heart? Nonsense.

      • Well, I saw another replay, which shows that Marquez stepped on Robben’s foot, so it was a pen. However, if Marquez had stopped two feet away, and Robben had fallen because he thought he would get hit, would that still have been a penalty? (Hint–no).

      • If he stops two feet away then no. But if he steps into robben’s path late and robben leaves his feet going over the leg, it’s a penalty whether there’s contact or not.

  2. Mexico should have played for a second goal after they went up 1-0. Going into a defensive shell that early was not a good idea. It was their fault they lost and they have only themselves to blame.

    • That’s the big picture. Yes, they should have continued to attack, and put away some of their chances.
      I was kind of hoping Chicharito would pull a rabbit out of the hat and put a dagger in the Dutch late in the game.
      Oh well – the soccer Gods have spoken.
      Mexico was living on borrowed karma – they still owe Graham Zusi free drinks for life.
      Hope we stick it to Belgium on Tuesday – Go USA!

    • Thank you. Why did they think that was a good idea for them to park the bus and let the Dutch keep possession and press for an equalizer? Those memories of that USA-Portugal game crept up into my mind. If you let Robben go into the box, he’s bound to fall down and get a call somehow.

      • Mexico played that even worse than we did. We were still pressing at the halfway line. Our defenders just didn’t pay attention on a cross. In someways worse and in someways better. The USA failure was more a matter of multiple individual errors than a game-plan
        one at that point.(which is why its worse in some ways.)

      • not necessarily tho

        the way the US lines got stretched out was a direct result of Jurgen telling the Americans up top to stay there and press. that set the table for all of the events/errors that followed

  3. I’m not Mexican or from the US…it doesn’t matter where I’m form really it’s not about me. It’s just very sad that SOME of you guys prefer Holland to win over a team from our region I have direct rivals that I hated always in my region South America. But I root for them anytime over the white cottage cheese european teams. but I guess some of you are like the ann coulters of football/futbol. Arjen Robben is such a cheat and worse to me than Suarez yet white people always focus on Suarez. This was disgusting to watch. Its so disgusting to see how mexico was robbed today

      • no, dont tell me anything….really . I just want Germany, Holland and France out of this world cup I just hate them with all my heart…there, I said it

    • Yep, Suarez physically attacks somebody, but yet Robben is worse. Makes sense…if you think about it, and then take what you thought about and completely forget it.

      • I agree Suarez needs help immediately..I mean professional best in the word experts…But I seem to hate the passive aggressives even more…the subtle one are always more dangerous. btw I was talking about the diving factor only between Suarez and Robben

    • Can you give me an example how a diving pansy (Robben) is worse then a racist violent diving pansy (Suarez). We can talk about you want about teams being robbed, but then you involved race, it isnt about race that keeps these teams getting preferential treatment. The big wigs want to see the big teams, which is why you see Brazil and Argentina getting preferential treatment. But you hold on to that race card buddy. BTW yo soy latino, no mames con esto de racismo. Suarez es un idiota

    • It’s very cruel to compare anyone here to Ann the Super-Troll. I do wish Mexico had won; I would have liked 3/8 of the quarter-finalists to come from CONCACAF, and 1/2 of the semi-finalists (and finalists) to come from CONCACAF.

      Many more people here will root for Costa Rica: there’s just a special (and sometimes evil) competition between the US and Mexico in fútbol.

    • You sound like racist biggot, Roberto. I am sure you don’t have any problems with white people or European people for that matter.

      • No im not racist I just cant stand arrogance andpeople who feel superior or entitled to things…I am white and my father is from the UK and mother from SA so….there my friend

      • Ridiculous statement. You seem momentarily to have forgotten that this is a soccer blog, Mason.

        Re: the match, I was hoping our obnoxious rivals would hold on to the end and give the even-more-obnoxious, self-confident Dutch an ignominious defeat. However, they failed to keep the snakes at bay, and one of them slithered into position to beat Ochoa without a challenge to disrupt his shot and the worst of them bit Marquez the Violent (and tardy) with a used-car sales job on a teeny touch. Good run, bad ending, well deserved.

        Go Ticos!

        PS Beat the hell out of Belgium!

      • I think we’ve found our token Coulter reader.

        Look: Most people have rejected Roberto’s comparison of “people who dislike Suarez” to “Ann Coulter”. Now, most reasonable people don’t like Suarez because he’s a bitey loon, so if they object to the comparison, it’s because they don’t like Coulter.

        It’s not my fault you like that windbag, Dave. Own it.

      • mason, you just made a (tongue-in-cheek, i’m sure) comment about people here deliberately running over a helpless person. you should expect to get some push-back on that.

        *and i’ve just now heard of ann coulter from her soccer article, although i haven’t read it, but i guess you’d say i’m a fan now, too.

  4. Oh, and welcome back qualifying-Mexico, who gave up at least three leads in the last five minutes in the Hex. It’s kind of nice to see you again.

  5. That was just plain wrong. Robben should have been yellow carded for diving in the box, and the game should have gone to overtime. Mexico was robbed! Rob-benned!
    That was highway robbery. The ref should not be the star of the show. Disgusted for all of my Mexican relatives.

    • I agree actually: any sorrows the Dutch encounter in e future will be well earned. I hope they are painfully humiliated, if not by the US, then by Germany, which will hurt them the most.

    • Although I had Robben’s diving as much as anyone, he was denied a very clear penalty in the first half it should be mentioned.

  6. Let me add a dive by Robben to my earlier list, but he should have had a penalty in the first half, so that’s a fair end to the match.

  7. HAHAHAHA Mexico HAHAHAHA I didn’t even know until my orgasm notified me.

    That’s what you get for treating all the illegal immigrants that come through your country like dirt.Shipping them back, don’t pass go don’t collect 200 dollars

    Then you have the stones to whine about the illegal immigration policy of the USA.

    • Can’t understand how any US fan can ever root for Mexico but now it is a consolation for them even making the WC. OK, Zusi, we can “forgive” you now. 🙂

  8. Couldn’t have chosen a better person to dash Mexican hearts than Marquez. Can’t stand him, I’m glad his last memory of the World Cup will be of his mistake.

  9. That penalty kick took like 2-3 minutes to do and the ref only added 30 seconds back on, something isn’t adding up there. Mexico went too defensive after scoring the goal and it always seemed like a matter of time until they conceded.

    • The penalty took as long as it did because Mexico was arguing and then there was that whole thing about Chicharito coming in and trying to take Memo’s gloves (???, that’s what the announcers said).

      In essence, the Mexicans wasted their own time and hurt themselves by doing so.

  10. If Netherlands is knocked out, and it’s wide open for Argentina. But if they lose too, then in the final you will have one of Mexico, Costa Rica, Greece, USA, Belgium, or Switzerland. What a story that would be. Crazy.

  11. I know were supposed to be feeling the concacaf solidarity, but I don’t think I can deal with Mexican fans if they make the semis.

  12. Mexico, unbeate, has shown they can go toe to toe with the best teams on the world and be feard by their @orld class oponent. Best team in CONCACAF.

    • Mexico is the best team south of Texas and north of Panama, I agree. They played well and its great to see Concacaf earn some respect but dont be silly with that best team in Concacaf jibberish.

    • Comments like this from Mexicans are why glad they are headed home. Ungrateful for the gift of the World Cup we gave them. They played well and they have us to thank but instead they sh*t talk us.

      • Come on man, if Mexico had put USA in the world cup we wouldn’t all of a sudden forgive a rivalry and be “grateful’ and cheer for them. Get real

  13. I’m calling bs on ‘total football’ and the Dutch mystique. Maybe they had a small window of good play in the 70s, but I first saw them (on TV) in the ’88 Euros, where Gullet spat on a German player, and since they have been generally as thuggish as Mexico at their worst:
    De Jong’s assault on Holden
    The 2010 Final Match
    This game, including Van Persy’s pull on Marquez, head-high kicks, etc.

    This is a fun game to watch, but I’m still hoping for injuries for both teams because they are both full of . . . jerks.

  14. Definite penalty on Robben goes uncalled. The Dutch has more possession, but not creating anything but some half-chances. I just feel that one of the star men is going to do something to win them the game. Mexico look decent, testing the Dutch defense with pace. We’ll see if they can continue to trouble them in the second half.

  15. best striker in the world?

    Ibrahimovic? Van Persie Suarez? Cavani? Rooney? Benzema? Higuain? Sturridge? Tevez? Costa? Lewandowski? Mandzukic? Falcao?

    who would you have on your team?


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