In a rematch of the World Cup Round of Sixteen game in which the Netherlands advanced thanks to a controversial penalty kick in stoppage time, Mexico picked up a hard-fought 2-3 win in Amsterdam in this international friendly.
Carlos Vela, making his first international appearance for Mexico in more than three years, made sure his return to El Tri would be a memorable one when he opened the scoring in just the 7th minute. Vela hit a left-footed shot from outside the box that flew unerringly into the back of the net to make it 0-1 in favor of the visitors, in Mexico’s first game on European soil since 2010.
The narrow lead lasted until halftime, although the Netherlands came close to equalizing on a number of occasion, most notably when Klaas Jan Huntelaar somehow managed to put his shot wide from about three yards out following a set piece opportunity.
However, it would take the home team just four minutes to tie things up in the second half. A golazo from Wesley Sneijder canceled out Vela’s opener in the 49th minute, and after that the Netherlands began to dominate the game.
But Carlos Vela would restore Mexico’s lead in the 62nd minute with a left-footed shot that Tim Krul got a hand to but couldn’t keep out, and then Javier “Chicharito” Hernández would score the eventual game-winner in the 69th. Vela and Hernández combined well throughout the game, and only the intervention of Tim Krul kept the pair from scoring more.
But playing at home, the Netherlands didn’t lie down, even down by two goals, and Daley Blind ensured that the final fifteen minutes of the game would be interesting with his 74th-minute goal. The Netherlands were on the verge of an equalizer a few times, and Memo Ochoa was called into action repeatedly to keep them out, once with a little help from Andrés Guardado on the line.
The 2-3 final score keeps Mexico unbeaten since the World Cup and extends their winning streak to four games. Carlos Vela’s brace shows that he can play a big role for El Tri moving forward if he continues to accept call-ups, and Mexico will move on to their game against Belarus full of confidence.
The Netherlands: Tim Krul, Ricardo van Rhijn, Ron Vlaar (Stefan de Vrij 24′), Joel Veltman, Jetro Willems, Ibrahim Afellay (Georginio Wijnaldum 68′), Daley Blind, Wesley Sneijder (Leroy Fer 81′), Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Memphis Depay (Quincy Promes 60′), Arjen Robben.
Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, Miguel Herrera (Jesús Corona Ruiz 61′), Diego Reyes, Adrián Aldrete, Oswaldo Alanís, Paul Aguilar, Héctor Herrera (Jonathan dos Santos 82′), José Juan Vázquez (Hugo Rodríguez 88′), Andrés Guardado (Miguel Ángel Ponce 88′), Carlos Vela (Giovani dos Santos 77′), Javier Hernández (Raúl Jiménez 77′).