So much drama on Day 17.
Here’s how it all shook out:
Netherlands 2-1 Mexico | Full Recap
What a heartbreaker for El Tri.
Mexico had things all but wrapped up, leading 1-0 in the 88th minute courtesy of a Gio Dos Santos goal from early in the second half. It looked like they were through to the quarters – then all hell broke loose.
Wesley Sneijder equalized in the 88th, running onto a laid off header at the top of the box and absolutely ripping a right-footed volley into the back of the net.
The Dutch weren’t done there, though, with Arjen Robben earning a somewhat dubious penalty kick off Mexico captain Rafa Marquez in second half stoppage time.
Marquez on Robben was both a foul and a dive— Seth Vertelney (@svertgoalcom) June 29, 2014
Substitute forward Klaas Jan Huntelaar buried the ensuing spot kick, sending Memo Ochoa the wrong way and tucking his shot into the bottom left corner to give Holland the shock 2-1 win.
The result undid a fine performance from Ochoa, who made big save after big save to keep Holland off the board earlier in the second half after Mexico went back into a defensive shell perhaps a little too early.
Mexico will now head home, one match earlier than manager Miguel Herrera’s minimum goal of reaching the quarterfinals. The Dutch will advance to the quarterfinals, where they’ll take on Costa Rica.
Costa Rica 1-1 (5-3) Greece | Full Recap
This one didn’t feature much quality, but it did have plenty of excitement.
Costa Rica opened the scoring through Bryan Ruiz early in the second half, looking like they were in control before defender Oscar Duarte was sent off after earning his second yellow card in the 66th minute. Greece didn’t capitalize on its man advantage until second half stoppage time, when defender Sokratis Papstathopoulos knocked a rebound past fantastic Costa Rica ‘keeper Keylor Navas to make it 1-1.
Greece should’ve been the favorites to win the match in extra time, but the exhausted Ticos held firm, limiting the Greeks to one good counterattacking chance that they failed to take advantage of.
Both teams put on a clinic through the first three rounds of the shootout, with Costa Rica’s Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz and Columbus Crew’s Giancarlo Gonzalez burying spot kicks for Los Ticos and Kostas Mitroglou, Lazaros Christodopolous and Jose Holebas ripping the back of the net for Greece. Joel Campbell started the fourth round off right for Costa Rica, burying his spot kick to give his side a 4-3 advantage.
Navas made that lead stick on the next spot kick, diving to his right and reaching up to save Gekas’ PK. That set the stage for Costa Rica’s Michael Umana – formerly of LA Galaxy and Chivas USA – to win it for Los Ticos. He made no mistake, pounding his shot inside the left post to send weary Costa Rica through to its first quarterfinal.
The win unleashed emotional celebrations for Costa Rica, with injured RSL and Tico forward Alvaro Saborio on hand in Brazil to take it all in with his teammates.
La sele pic.twitter.com/O9DGgTuTQi— Álvaro Saborío (@al_saborio) June 29, 2014
Costa Rica will have a few days off before the quarters, taking on Holland in Salvador on Saturday.