The Netherlands staged a dramatic late comeback to win 2-1 and ensure that Mexico’s FIFA World Cup last-16 hoodoo continued.
Leading 1-0 with two minutes remaining in Fortaleza on Sunday, Miguel Herrera’s men stood on the verge of reaching the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 1986, having exited in the second round in each of the past five finals.
However, substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar played a leading role in turning the game on its head, setting up the equaliser for Wesley Sneijder in the 88th minute before converting a stoppage-time penalty after Rafael Marquez was adjudged to have brought down Arjen Robben.
It meant heartbreak for Mexico, who had taken the lead through Giovani dos Santos’ fine strike three minutes after half-time, and for long periods it looked as though the Dutch were wilting in the scorching 38-degree (100 Fahrenheit) temperatures.
But Huntelaar, introduced in the 76th minute to replace Robin van Persie, headed Robben’s corner into the path of Sneijder to rifle home.