FIFA 2014 Round of 16 Predictions: Match #51 Netherlands vs. Mexico

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | June 26, 2014 10:40 AM EST

Final Score

Netherlands 2 Mexico 1

REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and Andres Guardado celebrate after their 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife June 23, 2014.

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Overview

Match number 51 is the third match of the knock-out stages. The Netherlands finished first in Group B, winning all the matches in group stages. Mexico, on the other hand, did not lose a match before qualifying to the "Round of 16."

Teams                                                                                                                                                

The Netherlands: The Netherlands has been one of the most consistent teams in group stages. It scored lots of goals from the very first match. If anyone had any doubt about how the Dutch were going to face in this world cup, they showed their potential in their first match against world champion Spain. The Netherlands ransacked the Spanish defence and scored 5 goals. Spain scored only once, that too from a penalty. The 5-1 victory launched an extra-ordinary journey for the Dutch team. It won against Australia 3-2 even though the Aussies made things difficult for the European giant. It ended its group matches with another win against Chile. Robin van Persie, who has already scored 3 goals in 2 matches, missed the match against Chile due to consecutive yellow cards. He will be back against Mexico. The Dutch captain will join Arjen Robben, who has also scored 3 goals so far.

Mexico: Mexico has had an extra-ordinary tournament so far. Even though it did not win all its matches, match results would not tell the entire story in this case. Mexico started with a decent 1-0 win against Cameroon. However, Mexico's encounter against Brazil was one of the most competitive matches in the tournament until now. The match ended in a goalless draw and showed the height of Mexican excellence. Guillermo Ochoa became an overnight hero after he had put up an exception performance to deny one goal after another by Brazilian strikers. Mexico had an emphatic 3-1 win against Croatia to qualify for the "Round of 16." The North American team has shown enough fire in its performance to have the conviction that it can beat any team on a given day.

Head to Head

These two teams played 6 times against each other before. The Netherlands won 3, Mexico 2m and the other match ended in a draw. There were 22 goals scored. Both teams scored 11 each.

Key Players

The Netherlands: Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben

Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa and Oribe Peralta

Date, Time & Venue

Brazil's time zone is UTC/GMT -3. The match starts at 1 pm (local time) on June 29, which means it is 2 am on June 30 in New South Wales, Australia. The match will be held at Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza.

Prediction

This is going to be a high scoring match. The score line at the end of 120 minutes will remain 2-2. The match will head to a tie-breaker. Ochoa will be a Mexican hero once again. Mexico will beat the Netherlands in the penalty shootout.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich / )
Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and Andres Guardado celebrate after their 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife June 23, 2014.
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