Mexico vs The Netherlands
The Netherlands (aka the Oranje) were the hottest team of the group stage. The tournament started out as good as it could have as the Netherlands thrashed Spain 5-1 and made a big-time statement. Even with backups playing in the last group match versus Chile, a 2-0 victory went to the team in orange. Players such as Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie could not be playing at a higher level at this point for the Netherlands. Also, Memphis Depay is an exciting young player who has already scored two goals off the bench and looks to the kind of player who can change the course of a match.
Mexico is the team looking to bring to a screeching halt the orange train that is running through the World Cup. While Mexico barely qualified for the World Cup, it can lay claim to one of the tournament’s best defenses. The only goal Mexico has allowed was to Croatia — with 5 minutes left in a match where progress to the knockout stage was already largely sealed. The key matchup here will be Mexico captain Rafa Márquez going up against Robin van Persie. Robben’s love for staying wide means van Persie will stay more central and will see a lot of the tough defending handed out by Márquez.
But while Mexico has done very well to get to the Round of 16, its run might end here. The Netherlands have too many weapons in attack and that could lead to a lot of chances and a multitude of goals. Our prediction: 3-1 to the Netherlands.