The Netherlands, who have not lost a game yet in their World Cup campaign, are taking on Mexico’s fearless squad on Sunday, while Greece and Costa Rica vie for a history-making spot in the tournament’s quarter-finals.
The Dutch have scored 10 goals in their opening three matches, more than any other team at the tournament. But Mexico has only given away one goal in three games, and that was a late consolation goal in the 3-1 win over Croatia.
The second day of the last 16 stage will be marked by the return of Dutch star striker and captain Robin van Persie who was suspended for the last group match.
Finalists in 1974, 1978 and 2010 but never champions, Netherlands powered their way to three wins in the group stage, and have an experienced side that is brimming with confidence.
Mexico, however, have proved to be fighters. They were also unbeaten in their group games, including holding hosts Brazil to a shock draw.
The Latin American squad are relying on goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, arguably the best in the tournament, to keep the explosive Dutch attack in check.
End of Cinderella story?
Surprising Costa Rica will face Greece in Sunday’s second match. Both teams have never before advanced out of the group stage at a World Cup, and are looking to make history.
Costa Rica, the Cinderella story of the World Cup, fought through a group that included four-time champions Italy and always hopeful England to reach the knockout stage.
Greece squeaked through to the last 16 with a late penalty winner against Ivory Coast on June 24, but they do have some experience being an underdog at a major tournament: they won the 2004 European Championship as rank outsiders.
Follow the Netherlands vs Mexico match on FRANCE 24's live blog on this website starting at 1800 GMT.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)
Date created : 2014-06-29