World Cup 2014 LIVE: Day 18 including reaction to the Netherlands' dramatic comeback victory over Mexico and Costa Rica win on a penalty shoot-out over Greece - Live coverage - The Independent

World Cup 2014 LIVE: Day 18 including reaction to the Netherlands' dramatic comeback victory over Mexico and Costa Rica win on a penalty shoot-out over Greece


Welcome to The Independent's coverage of day 18 at the Fifa World Cup in Brazil. Samuel Stevens and Marc Williams brought you the action as the Dutch go through to the quarter-finals with a dramatic last minute comeback against Mexico and ten-man Costa Rica beat Greece on penalties...


  • Good morning, folks! After a whole twenty-four hours with no football to feast our eyes on, the Fifa World Cup announced its return in dramatic fashion last night. The Independent's Samuel Stevens here to get you clued up ahead of the tournament's next chapter tonight.

    With Brazil sealing their place in the quarter-finals, courtesy of Julio Cesar's goalkeeping exploits in the penalty shoot-out victory over Chile, they were later joined by Colombia as James Rodriguez continued his fine vain of form against a Luis Suarez-lite Uruguay.

    We now turn our attentions to early pace-setters Netherlands who will have to navigate their way past a banana skin tie against Mexico. Costa Rica, on the other hand, will need to dispose of Greece if they are to build upon their excellent start to this summer's tournament.

    We'll be bringing you all of the reaction to last night's action as well as previewing tonight's games and sub-plots. Don't go away!
    6/29/2014 10:46:40 AM
  • Vote: Has James Rodriquez scored the goal of the tournament so far?


    It's an aged old discussion football fans across the world have always had following a World Cup: who scored the best goal?

    This summer, however, we've been treated to some simply sublime efforts and we're barely into the knock-out rounds.

    After Colombia's comfortable victory over Uruguay last night, their manager later said that this summer's tournament had become 'James Rodriguez's World Cup'.

    The Monaco striker scored both goals to take his tally to five in four matches. But despite moving to the top of the Golden Boot chart, it was his opening goal at the Maracana that will rightfully bring him the most attention.

    What's been your favourite? Vote in our poll!
    6/29/2014 11:12:02 AM


  • The former QPR man saved efforts from Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez as the hosts won the shoot-out 3-2 after the last-16 match had ended 1-1 after extra time.

    “Before the penalties Julio said, ‘hit them with confidence and I’ll stop three’,” said Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva.

    It was preordained. Chile were a great team but we found strength. The most important thing is that the group is united, independent of any mistakes.
    6/29/2014 11:40:11 AM

  • Alan Pardew's World Cup column: Suarez saga a smack in the teeth for Liverpool


    I know Brendan well, and he would have been buzzing about the performances of Suarez, plus Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, who I thought were England’s best two players at the tournament.

    He’s got a fantastic year out of Suarez, the double Player of the Year winner, and must have been rubbing his hands together, planning ahead for a Champions’ League campaign. Then this lightning bolt strikes.

    It was horrendous for Uruguay and their prospects, of course, but people here will understandably be concentrating on the implications for Liverpool, who will suffer from his ban from crucial games. And not for the first time.
    6/29/2014 11:44:54 AM
  • Blind faith in Louis van Gaal’s Dutch revolution


    Daley Blind, the Ajax and Netherlands left-back, is proof of Louis van Gaal's progressive thinking, argues The Independent's Tim Rich. 

    When the Manchester United manager's squad arrived in Brazil, there was a feeling that a defence whose most famous member was Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar would not withstand much pressure. That, however, may be why the Netherlands face Mexico with a 100 per cent record. 

    The world footballers have largely gone and as a result this a different type of Dutch side – where talent and team spirit has not been buried under a mound of egos.

    That philosophy will be vital if the Dutch are to defeat Mexico and progress to the quarter-finals.
    6/29/2014 11:55:22 AM
  • Cristiano Ronaldo no longer the local hero 


    Cristiano Ronaldo has said that his injured knee “has ended exactly like it began” while confirming that it is likely to keep him out of action for up to three months.

    According to Miguel Delaney, much of the attention has centred on the Real Madrid star and his failure to reproduce the relentless form that won him the 2013 Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo’s goal in the 2-1 win over Ghana took his overall tally in the World Cup to just three.

    That has attracted all the more focus because this was seen as something of a last chance for him to finally excel at the tournament in while in his prime, given that he will be 33 by the time Russia 2018 arrives. In mitigation, however, Ronaldo has played through a knee-tendonitis problem.
    6/29/2014 12:07:10 PM
  • Will Greece spread their wings or park the bus?


    "Oh my God, yes!" ran the front page headline in Greece’s SportDay newspaper on Wednesday, the morning after the country’s success in reaching the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time. 

    Elsewhere in the world, a more likely response might have been: “Oh my God, no!”.

    After all, Simon Hart muses, Greece – 10 years on from an improbable Euro 2004 triumph built on solid defending and set-pieces – could easily be regarded as unwelcome gatecrashers at a World Cup party marked by exciting, attacking football.
    6/29/2014 12:23:30 PM




  • 6/29/2014 12:26:49 PM
  • Up, up and away! Netherlands set for trip into space


    Robin van Persie may have looked like he had taken off into the stratosphere when he scored for the Netherlands against Spain earlier in the month, but the squad have been told they will be treated to a real-life trip into space if they win the World Cup.

    However as if the motivation of being world champions wasn't enough, they have been given an even bigger incentive to bring the trophy home, after a Dutch aerospace company have offered them all a trip into space if they managed to boldly go where no Dutch team has gone before and win the competition.

    According to Charles Reynolds, the practically unspellable Dutch aerospace engineering company Ruimtevaartbedrijf SXC, or SXC for short, have promised the 23-man squad all a flight into space if they win their next four games and therefore the World Cup trophy.
    6/29/2014 12:54:48 PM
  • Who will make the difference between Netherlands and Mexico?


    As exciting World Cup clashes go, tonight's meeting between Netherlands and Mexico is certainly up there. 

    To whet your appetites ahead of that final-16 game in Fortaleza, Simon Rice has compiled a list of some of the players worth keeping an eye out for.

    Whether it be Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie or Memphis Depay, Louis van Gaal will be confident in his side's ability to progress to the next round. 

    Mexico, on the other hand, have the likes of Giovanni dos Santos and Javier Hernandez to rely on. Click here for our verdict on the stars on show tonight.
    6/29/2014 1:35:35 PM
  • Netherlands v Mexico: Training shots




    6/29/2014 1:40:18 PM
  • USA! USA! Klinsmann's bold assessment raises expectations even higher


    Jürgen Klinsmann, the enigmatic USA manager, has told his squad and their families to delay their return flights from Brazil until after the World Cup final.

    The Americans take on Belgium in the next round on Tuesday night after emerging from a tough Group G ahead of Portugal and Ghana. 

    Omar Gonzalez, the USA defender, says Klinsmann’s upbeat assessment of his team’s chances of progressing has even gone as far as encouraging revised travel plans.

    Jürgen has been nothing but positive. He’s telling us, he’s telling our families to change our flights to July 14, 15, because we’re going to be here until the very end.

    “So that just speaks volumes to how positive he is, how much he believes in this team, and obviously it trickles down to all of us," he added.
    6/29/2014 2:39:08 PM
  • Sijtje the Dutch cow has spoken...

    6/29/2014 2:47:34 PM
  • David Luiz: The goal was mine!


    David Luiz got his wish last night as Fifa officially awarded Brazil's goal in the last-16 match against Chile to the PSG-bound defender.

    Luiz claimed the goal in the 1-1 draw, which was finally settled by a penalty shoot-out in Brazil's favour, but television replays appeared to show that Thiago Silva's header had been deflected in by Chile defender Gonzalo Jara.

    A Fifa spokeswoman said: "The technical study group has looked at this and the goal will remain awarded to David Luiz. They have studied it and say he definitely had the last touch."

    With 34 cameras in each stadium, you'd expect them to get it right.
    6/29/2014 3:01:11 PM
  • So addicted to the World Cup that you've not had a haircut since the opening day? 

    Why not take a leaf out of this USA fan's book and get your favourite player etched into your barnet...

    6/29/2014 3:03:40 PM
  • TEAM NEWS HAS LANDED!


    Louis van Gaal gives Dirk Kuyt his 100th cap in an attacking side which also features Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder.

    Netherlands: Jasper Cillessen, Ron Vlaar, Stefan De Vrij, Daley Blind, Nigel De Jong, Robin van Persie (c), Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Paul Verhaegh, Dirk Kuyt, Georginio Wijnaldum.

    The Mexican line-up, decided by head coach Miguel Herrera, sees Oribe Peralta preferred to Javier Hernandez in attack while Giovani dos Santos is given a spot in his preferred position behind the frontline.

    Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, Reancisco Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido, Rafael Marquez (c), Hector Herrera, Miguel Layun, Giovani dos Santos, Hector Moreno, Andres Guardado, Oribe Peralta, Paul Aguilar. 
    6/29/2014 3:13:18 PM
  • HALF AN HOUR TO GO! What better chance to dress up than a World Cup game? 

    Some of the costumes are better than others, mind you...




    6/29/2014 3:26:35 PM
  • As the players prepare to belt out their national anthems, here's a quick reminder of today's line-ups...

    Netherlands: Jasper Cillessen, Ron Vlaar, Stefan De Vrij, Daley Blind, Nigel De Jong, Robin van Persie (c), Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Paul Verhaegh, Dirk Kuyt, Georginio Wijnaldum.

    Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, Reancisco Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido, Rafael Marquez (c), Hector Herrera, Miguel Layun, Giovani dos Santos, Hector Moreno, Andres Guardado, Oribe Peralta, Paul Aguilar. 
    6/29/2014 3:52:01 PM
  • KICK OFF! Here's the backdrop as Mexico get us under way in a roasting Fortaleza. It's now or never for the Netherlands and and their opponents...

    6/29/2014 4:00:17 PM
  • 4 mins: Both sides are just testing the water in the early exchanges. Miguel Layun, the Mexico left-back, has already shot wide from distance twice while Wesley Sneijder's searching ball for Robin van Persie sailed over the Manchester United striker's head. 
    6/29/2014 4:05:19 PM
  • 10 mins: Dirk Kuyt, the former Liverpool midfielder, deserves a special mention after earning his 100th cap. Now playing in a more defensive role, in left wing-back, Kuyt is clearly still an important member of Louis van Gaal's side.

    In other news, Nigel De Jong has picked up a knock and is replaced early on by Bruno Martins Indi.

    6/29/2014 4:11:32 PM
  • 13 mins: Miguel Layun, who has been lively so far, races down the left flank and plays a peach of a ball into the Dutch box. Just too fast for Giovani dos Santos to reach, that was a decent chance for Mexico. Netherlands get away with it.
    6/29/2014 4:14:39 PM
  • 16 mins: Another deep ball from Miguel Layun tests the Netherlands defence and Giovani dos Santos wins out. Playing in Oribe Peralta, the Mexican forward then passes backwards to Hector Herrera, on the edge of the box, who glides his neatly-struck effort inches wide of the Dutch net. Agonisingly close!

    6/29/2014 4:19:01 PM
  • 23 mins: Netherlands could be in a tricky situation here. With Nigel de Jong already off the pitch injured, Georginio Wijnadum has also indicted that he has a problem with his eye. Louis van Gaal may be forced to make a second substitution before we even get to half-time.
    6/29/2014 4:26:50 PM
  • 26 mins: A deep, diagonal long-ball from Stefan de Vrij falls straight into the path of Robin van Persie but the Dutchman can't get his shot on target after bringing the ball down quite exquisitely.
    6/29/2014 4:28:57 PM
  • 29 mins: Here's a picture of the incident which led to a tentative penalty shout from Mexico, although ITV's Clarke Carlisle was the loudest voice in such a discussion...

    6/29/2014 4:32:28 PM

  • 31 mins: We've got our first official cooling break of the Fifa World Cup as the referee signals for time out. This will be a surreal practice for most British viewers but it could be something we'll have to get used to if the 2022 tournament is to be hosted in Qatar. That, mind you, is a matter for another day.

    Get your comments in, like Marz bkk, and we'll show the best one!

    Mexicans are having tequila shots on there drinks breakMarz bkkat 5:33 PM

    6/29/2014 4:34:48 PM
  • 34 mins: We're back under way after that cooling break. 





    6/29/2014 4:37:54 PM
  • 41 mins: A cute flick from Rafael Marquez penetrates the Dutch backline as Giovani dos Santos gallops through and fires a low drive straight at Jasper Cillessen in the Netherlands goal. Decent save.
    6/29/2014 4:43:31 PM
  • 43 mins: The Dutch faithful aren't looking too chuffed with this slow build-up play. That is, however, until they spot themselves on the big screen. Then they go out of their minds.
    6/29/2014 4:45:21 PM
  • FOUR MINUTES ADDED TIME.

    6/29/2014 4:45:37 PM
  • 45 + 2 mins: Rafael Marquez is caught out after a shocking pass across the Mexican backline falls to Robin van Persie who finds Arjen Robben in the area. Marquez, however, gets back and tackles before Hector Moreno comes charging in - with studs showing. 

    It's a wonder Netherlands weren't given a penalty there. Robben has already cried wolf once this afternoon though...
    6/29/2014 4:50:04 PM
  • HALF-TIME: Netherlands 0-0 Mexico. Here is Glenn Moore's thoughts on that first period...

    If this is what the football is going to be like in Qatar in 2022 can Fifa hurry up and switch it? Both teams could have had a penalty, especially the Dutch for Robben being clattered late in the half, but otherwise it has been quiet. Mexico, as might be expected, the brighter, more energetic side. The water break, though necessary, has not helped the flow. Moreno going off will be a blow, he’s been very good this World Cup, made my team of the tournament so far.
    6/29/2014 4:50:18 PM
  • WE'RE UNDER WAY! Who will deal with the heat the best? The fans are struggling to even sit in these temperatures. Most have taken refuge in the concourse areas. 

    6/29/2014 5:06:32 PM

  • GOOOAAALLL!! Netherlands 0-1 MEXICO - Giovani dos Santos, 47 mins!

    The ball is bouncing all over the place and, while the Dutch defence ball watch, Giovani dos Santos takes the bull by the horns! 

    Bringing the it down skilfully, before launching a stunning laced strike past Jasper Cillessen, the former Tottenham Hotspur man has scored the all important first goal. Netherlands have it all to do now but, in this heat, it may be beyond them.




    6/29/2014 5:08:42 PM
  • 54 mins: Just moments after Oribe Peralta tested Jasper Cillessen's concentration in the Netherlands net, Louis van Gaal decides enough is enough. Bringing on Memphis Depay, for Paul Verhaegh, the Dutch have gone more attacking.
    6/29/2014 5:17:30 PM
  • 56 mins: What a save from Guillermo Ochoa!

    The man who single-handedly earned Mexico a point against Brazil last week has just pulled off a sure-fire candidate for save of the tournament. Stefan de Vrij meets a Dutch corner emphatically but Ochoa flings his glove and knocks the ball onto the post! Stunning. 
    6/29/2014 5:20:30 PM




  • 6/29/2014 5:27:51 PM
  • 66 mins: And Arjen Robben wonders why he doesn't get many penalty decisions go his way. Unlike earlier, when he had a decent claim, the Bayern Munich man appears to go down flamboyantly. 

    As Netherlands push for an equaliser, Paul Aguilar is booked for going through Memphis Depay. Louis van Gaal's men need to act now.
    6/29/2014 5:29:52 PM
  • Is this Guillermo Ochoa's Gordon Banks moment?

    6/29/2014 5:32:22 PM
  • 73 mins: Arjen Robben races down the right wing and, despite Rafael Marquez's heavy tackle, gets a shot away. Guillermo Ochoa, quickly turning into one of the tournament's biggest stars, gets down well though. The Dutch are pressing and, as a result, the Mexicans are dropping deep. This isn't over yet.

    Just two minutes later and Louis van Gaal has made the brave call to take Robin van Persie off. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is on in his place.
    6/29/2014 5:37:02 PM
  • 75 mins: Cooling break! Mexico will probably be glad for the chance to regroup. 
    6/29/2014 5:37:34 PM
  • Miguel Herrera, the Mexico head coach, is as composed as ever. 

    6/29/2014 5:39:00 PM
  • 77 mins: We're back under way as Carlos Salcido blazes a decent opportunity well over Jasper Cillessen's goal. With Javier Hernandez and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar now on the pitch, could one of them become a hero? They've got just over ten minutes. 
    6/29/2014 5:40:54 PM
  • 83 mins: Netherlands can't string a move together as Miguel Herrera's men edge ever closer to a remarkable victory over one of the early pacesetters. With players like Arjen Robben and Wesley Snijder lurking, however, the Dutch will surely have their chances...
    6/29/2014 5:44:10 PM
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