Dutch break Mexico’s heart, Costa Rica outlasts Greece

June 29, 2014
Netherlands' Arjen Robben, center, goes down to win the decisive penalty. (AP)

Netherlands’ Arjen Robben, center, goes down to win the decisive penalty. (AP)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Wesley Sneijder scored late goals to lead Netherlands to a 2-1 win over Mexico and into the World Cup quarter-finals.

The Dutch will next play Costa Rica, which defeated Greece on penalties after playing most of the second half and extra time with 10 men.

The Netherlands struggled against a Mexican squad seeking its first quarter-finals berth in 28 years.

Giovani dos Santos gave Mexico the lead three minutes into the second-half when he rifled a left-footer from 30 meters out.

Rafael Maquez squandered a chance to double the lead three minutes later when his header from the center of the box sailed above the bar.

Oribe Peralta and Carlos Salcido also missed from the edge of the box and the Mexicans were left to rue the lost opportunities two minutes before stoppage time when Sneijder gathered a headed pass from Huntelaar and converted from the center of the box.

Just when extra time was looking likely, the fleet-footed Dutch winger Arjen Robben raced into the right edge of the penalty area. Marquez stuck out a foot and Robben dropped to the ground, successfully selling the move for a penalty.

Huntelaar calmly converted to put Netherlands through and Mexico into heartbreak.

Costa Rica reached its first quarter-finals after defeating Greece 5-3 in a penalty shootout. Bryan Ruiz’s left-footer gave Costa Rica the lead early in the second half, but Sokratis Papastathopoulos equalized in stoppage time to send the game into extra time.

Costa Rica held its own despite being down to 10 men after Oscar Duarte got a red card in the 66th minute.