Holland 2 Mexico 1: Player ratings as former Spurs man impresses

Holland 2 Mexico 1: Player ratings as the Oranje leave it late to book their place in the quarter-final

Harry Reardon
By Harry Reardon
Holland
2
Mexico
1

Netherlands

Jasper Cillessen Not his finest hour-and-a-half, and his team-mates will have saved him from something of an inquest. In the first seven minutes, he was out well to intercept a dangerous through ball but then nearly sliced his team into trouble, he went walkabout in the build-up to Mexico’s penalty shout 10 minutes later, and then flapped a speculative Salcido effort wide in the 24th minute. Things didn’t get much better afterwards. Not much he could have done about the goal, though. 5/10

Paul Verhaegh At times, particularly in the first half, there seemed to be a spare man in both teams’s back lines. For the Netherlands, Verhaegh was often the one who found himself pushing forward. He was unable to find a way through, though, and was replaced by Depay. 6

Ron Vlaar Either he or de Vrij should probably have conceded a penalty in the 19th minute as they combined to almost decapitate Herrera. A strong presence in the box as the Netherlands piled on the pressure from corners in the last quarter of the game. 6

Stefan de Vrij Involved in a couple of Holland’s more threatening attacking moments, with a delicate clipped ball through to Van Persie on 27 minutes which the latter could not quite convert and a 57th minute volley which somehow found its way to safety via Ochoa and the post. 7

Daley Blind Started at left centre-half before being pushed into defensive midfield when de Jong was replaced, where he immediately misplaced a pass out wide. Found himself a little overrun, and could not get close enough to dos Santos for the latter’s goal. 5

Nigel de Jong Injured in the early stages, and replaced by Indi. n/a

Wesley Sneijder Unable to threaten the Mexico goal for the majority of the game as his crosses went too long or were cut out. Dropped back to find space, but at the expense of his influence; but then there he was for the knockdown from Huntelaar in the final minutes. 7

Dirk Kuyt Today was his 100th cap for Holland. Over that time, he has probably covered about ten different positions, and he played in at least four of them today. A typically high energy performance (or as much so as the heat would allow). 6

Georginio Wijnaldum The game passed him by a bit too much for the Netherlands’ liking. A looping header to the keeper midway through the first half was about as good as it got. 5

Arjen Robben Struggled to get into the game first half but was his team’s main threat in the second. Should probably have won more than the one penalty which he did, and his corners caused all sorts of difficulty. Could not beat Ochoa when one on one in the 75th minute, although he could probably have legitimately gone down in the box just before he shot. 8

Robin van Persie A muted performance from Holland figurehead. Nearly had his Dennis Bergkamp moment when he took down de Vrij’s pass brilliantly, but could then only slice a right-footed shot wide. 5

Substitutes

Bruno Martins Indi Replaced de Jong in the early stages. Not put under a huge amount of threat, but it was noticeable, in comparison with the Mexican centre-halves, that, at least until his side went behind, he was not looking forwards when he found himself with the ball in midfield. 6

Memphis Depay Replaced Verhaegh on 55 minutes and looked dangerous attacking Mexico down the left, with the pace to trouble Aguilar (and get him booked) and the invention to put Mexico on the back foot. 7

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Came on for Robin van Persie with fifteen minutes to go and won the header down for Sneijder’s equaliser before dispatching the injury time penalty which won it for his team. 7

Mexico

Guillermo Ochoa Almost a spectator in the first half. Somehow managed to get his hands (and face) to de Vrij’s close-ange volley after 57 minutes, and it looked for all the world like he would not be beaten. But he could do nothing about Sneijder’s thunderbolt or Huntelaar’s excellent penalty. 7

Francisco Rodriguez Had a largely untroubled game as his defensive compatriots found themselves more in the thick of the action. 6

Rafael Marquez Looked in control in the first half, covering well and finding space going forward. But in the second, he could have given away a couple of penalties against Robben – and then, in the dying minutes, he did. 5

Héctor Moreno An impressive first half, as he led his team forward from the back, but he was injured in a collision with Robben shortly before half time and did not re-emerge after the break. 7

Miguel Layún Another one to have a storming first half for Mexico, with a series of shots and crosses that did not quite find their targets, but his influence waned in the second period. 6

Paul Aguilar Looked entirely composed until the introduction of Depay as the Dutch looked to make their way back into the game. Looked under pressure from the winger thereafter, and was booked with 20 minutes to go. 6

Carlos Salcido Neat and tidy in his initial defensive midfield role, before he was forced backwards by Moreno’s injury and the Dutch coming on strong from 1-0 down. 6

Hector Herrera Showed excellent feet to find Layún for an early shot, and should possibly have scored himself when he found space in the box after 17 minutes. Looked like the heartbeat of his team before losing the initiative after they took the lead. 6

Andres Guardado Let Layún do most of the glamorous work down Mexico’s left-hand side before coming into it more as the wing-back tired, but was unable to stem the tide of Dutch attacks as the game drew to its dramatic finish. 6

Giovani dos Santos (Man of the Match) The former Spurs man was inches away from converting a cross from Layún in the first 15 minutes and was at the heart of Mexico’s attacking threat thereafter, topped off by a powerful half volley from distance in the 48th minute which nestled in the bottom corner. Did not deserve to be on the losing side. 8

Oribe Peralta Put in the archetypal ‘shift up front’, with a sprinkling of clever touches to keep the Dutch defence honest, but could not quite find the moment of class which might have wrapped it up for his team before being substituted with 15 minutes to go. 5

Substitutes

Diego Reyes Replaced Moreno at half-time and slotted calmly into central defence. Broke forward a couple of times and was in the right place more often than not at the back as well. 6

Javier Aquino Replaced dos Santos on the hour and seemed to have played an important role in holding the ball for his team until the late turnaround. 6

Javier Hernández Came on for Peralta for the last 15 minutes but unable to influence the game. n/a

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