Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2014 Contents A78
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, June 30, 2014
Netherlands 2 (Wesley Sneider 88. Klaas-Jan
vs Mexico 1 (Giovani dos Santos 48)
Costa Rica 1 (B Ruiz 52)
vs Greece 1 (S Papastathopoulous 90+1)
Costa Rica advances 5-3 on penalty kicks
France vs Nigeria,
Nacional Mane Garrincha, noon
France attempted more shots at goal (50
excluding blocked) than any other side during
the 2014 World Cup group stages.
Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama kept
more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper
during the 2013-14 French Ligue 1 season for
On the last five occasions that France have
progressed past round one in the World Cup,
they have reached the semi-final stage (1958,
1982, 1986, 1998 and 2006).
Karim Benzema has scored nine goals in his
last nine appearances for France, including
three goals in his three appearances at this
Nigeria have only won one of their last 11
World Cup matches.
Nigeria have lost both of their previous World
Cup second round ties --- 1-2 v Italy in 1994 and
1-4 v Denmark in 1998.
Germany vs Algeria,
Beiro Rio, 4 pm
Algeria are the sixth African team to reach the
knockout stages of a World Cup (after
Morocco, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria and
Germany have reached the semi-finals of the
last three World Cups. No nation has ever
made the last four in four successive
Germany have lost both of their previous
meetings with Algeria in all competitions,
scoring once and conceding four times.
Joachim Löw's side attempted 1999 passes
(including crosses and corners) in the group
stage, more than any other side.
Argentina vs Switzerland, Sao Paulo, noon
Belgium vs USA, Salvador, 4 p.m
Arjen Robben did little to defuse the debate
about his reputation for diving.
The Netherlands winger earned an injury-time
penalty yesterday and then watched as
teammate Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted from
the spot to give the Dutch a come-from-behind
2-1 victory over Mexico in the second round of
the World Cup.
Robben collapsed theatrically under a
challenge from Rafael Marquez, causing
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera to blame his
team's loss on referee Pedro Proenca.
Herrera says, "We ended up losing because he
whistled a penalty that did not exist."
Huntelaar and Wesley Sneijder
scored late goals yesterday to
give the Netherlands a 2-1 vic-
tory over Mexico and a spot in
the World Cup quarterfinals.
Huntelaar, who came on as a
76th-minute substitute, scored
the winning goal from the
penalty spot deep in injury time
after Rafael Marquez brought
down Arjen Robben in the area.
"You don t know when your
chance will come, but it was
today, and so you grab it with
both hands," said Huntelaar, who
was making his first appearance
at this year s World Cup. "And
it was fantastic."
Giovani Dos Santos gave the
Mexicans the lead in the 48th
minute, but Sneijder equalised
for the Dutch in the 88th.
It was the first time Sneijder,
who scored five goals at the last
World Cup in South Africa, has
found the net in Brazil.
Robben has already scored
three goals for the Dutch at this
year s tournament, but after
earning the late penalty, he
handed the ball to Huntelaar.
"Klaas is a great penalty taker.
He was fresh, had just come on
and I had faith in him," Robben
said. "I asked him if he wanted
to take it and he was very sure
Huntelaar and Sneijder scored
the goals at the hot and steamy
Arena Castelao, but it was
Netherlands coach Louis van
Gaal that may just deserve the
credit for making a crucial tac-
tical change during the second
of two official cooling breaks.
As he did earlier against Aus-
tralia, the master tactician again
switched his team around in the
second half, changing from the
more defensive 5-3-2 system to
the traditional Dutch attacking
"Yes, we escaped," Van Gaal
said. "But we showed that we
could create more chances with
4-3-3, and the players handled
this shift very well."
Van Gaal said he made his
critical switch during the sec-
ond-half break, huddling with
his players as they drank from
bottles on the sideline.
"I moved to Plan B at the
cooling break after (Mexico goal-
keeper Guillermo) Ochoa made
an amazing save," said Van Gaal,
soon to be the manager at Man-
chester United. "That is a good
way to take advantage of those
Ochoa had kept his team in
the match with two great saves
in the second half, but he was
beaten by Sneijder s powerful
drive and guessed wrong when
diving in an attempt to stop
Huntelaar s penalty.
The Mexicans had conceded
only one goal in three group
matches and looked like they
would keep another clean sheet
until the late collapse.
It was heartbreak again for
Mexico, which has now reached
the second stage of the World
Cup six straight times without
winning. The last time the team
made the quarterfinals was
when it hosted the tournament
After the final whistle, the
Mexican players collapsed, dis-
traught on the turf while many
of their fans were in tears.
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera
blamed the referee for the loss,
saying Robben dived to earn the
"Today it was the man with
the whistle who eliminated us
from the World Cup," Herrera
"If a referee invents a penalty,
you re out of the World Cup,"
Herrera added. "I hope they have
a look at what happened and
that this gentleman goes home
just like we are."
It was the fourth straight win
for the Netherlands at the World
Cup after routing defending
champion Spain 5-1 and beating
Australia 3-2 and Chile 2-0 in
The Dutch will next face
either Costa Rica or Greece in
the quarterfinals on Saturday in
"Unbelievable," Robben said.
"Five minutes from full time,
we were out."
RECIFE---Costa Rica beat
Greece in a penalty shootout
yesterday to reach the World
Cup quarterfinals for the first
time after defending with ten
men for nearly an hour.
Michael Umana scored the
decisive penalty as Costa Rica
won the shootout 5-3 after the
game ended 1-1 following extra
Greece s Theofanis Gekas saw
his penalty saved by Costa Rica
goalkeeper Keylor Navas for the
only miss in the shootout.
Costa Rica will play the
Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
Costa Rica had taken the lead
early in the second half through
captain Bryan Ruiz but then had
defender Oscar Duarte sent off
in the 66th minute with a second
yellow card for a mistimed tackle
on Jose Holebas.
The red card changed the game
at Arena Pernambuco and Greece
poured forward for most of the
remainder of the match.
The Greeks equalized in injury
time when defender Sokratis
Papastathopoulos smashed in a
rebound to finally make the
team s numerical advantage pay.
Greece continued to storm for-
ward in extra time but couldn t
find a way past Navas, who made
the victory-clinching save in the
shootout after saving his team
for most of the match with a
succession of last-gasp stops.
The victory delighted the
majority of the just over 41,000
fans in Recife as the Brazilian
locals shouted for Costa Rica
throughout the round-of-16
While the Costa Rican team
made World Cup history for its
small Central American nation,
it also ended Greece s best-ever
run. Greece was playing in the
second round for the first time.
After a scoreless first half, Ruiz
slid his low shot into the right
corner of Greece s goal for the
lead after a pull-back by winger
Christian Bolanos from the left.
Duarte made a clumsy chal-
lenge on Holebas, however, and
Costa Rica reverted to all-out
defense to try and hang on for
They nearly did it, but yet
another save from Navas fell to
Papastathopoulos in the first
minute of injury time and he
powered his shot home to give
keeps rolling on
Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas makes a save during the
World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Costa Rica and
Greece at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, yesterday.
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