World Cup Soccer
             === Mexico hopes to keep rolling against the Dutch ===
 Fortaleza,  Brazil (  - Mexico and the Netherlands will meet
 in the round of 16 at the Estadio Castelao on Sunday for what is sure to be an
 entertaining clash.
 The  Netherlands exceeded  many pre-tournament predictions by not only getting
 out of a stacked Group B, but also by winning all three of its matches.
 Its  reward  is a potentially  difficult fixture  against a plucky Mexico side
 that is growing with confidence with each passing match.
 Mexico  almost failed  to  qualify for  the tournament  and  needed some  late
 heroics  from United States international Graham Zusi to book El Tri a spot in
 a playoff with New Zealand.
 But  the  qualification struggles  are clearly  a thing of  the past as Mexico
 cruised  through  Group A action with  relative ease, winning two matches by a
 combined score of 4-1 while playing to a scoreless draw with Brazil.
 "It  felt like  a  weight  had been  lifted,"  striker  Javier Hernandez  told  after  Mexico's defeat of  Croatia in the Group  A finale, a game in
 which  Chicharito  bagged his first World  Cup goal. "This whole year has been
 very  tough.  Players need confidence  more than  anything else, and I've been
 very short of it. Very few people have shown faith in me over this past year."
 Next  up for Mexico is a meeting with an impressive Dutch side that managed to
 take maximum points from one of the World Cup's more difficult groups.
 The  Netherlands crushed  reigning champion Spain in its opening match, coming
 from  behind to  get a 5-1 win.  The Dutch overturned another deficit in their
 next  match  to get a  3-2 victory against Australia.  They then locked up top
 spot by cruising to a 2-0 defeat of Chile.
 It  was  a surprising performance  in the group  stage from the Netherlands, a
 side that has done well to erase the lingering disappointment from a Euro 2012
 campaign that saw the Dutch exit the tournament after only three games.
 But  while  the inexperience  in the Dutch  squad has made  the wins even more
 impressive to outsiders, those in the team are not so surprised.
 "People usually just look at the star players and don't consider the team as a
 whole,"  midfielder  Georginio Wijnaldum told "Plenty of teams have
 more  famous, perhaps  even better players than us. But what everybody forgets
 is that this is a team game. We're playing well, and we're playing as a team."
 The  winner  of Sunday's clash certainly  stands a good chance of advancing to
 the semifinals as it will face either Costa Rica or Greece in the quarters.
 06/28 15:38:13 ET

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