ARJEN ROBBEN says Le Oranje have enough in store to cope in his absence. When he takes to the pitch today against a Mexican side that needed a favour from USA beating Panama to qualify for World Cup, Robben will probably not want his assertion put to test.
The Bayern Munich playmaker has been in scintillating form in Brazil, scoring three times and creating as many chances. However, if anything went wrong and he had come out with the scores even, can Le Oranje cope without his cunning and speed? Or better still, can Mexico continue proving everyone wrong by burying another European side in the sand? Mexico have done so well that almost any of the players on the bench can be called up and put up an impressive show.
The backline marshaled by former Barcelona linchpin Rafael Marquez has worked on the magical gloves of Guillermo Ochoa, whose heroics between the sticks has won more plaudits than Messi and Neymar goals combined.
For a team that held Brazil to a goalless draw before mauling Croatia to book their place in the last 16, Mexico have grown in confidence with every game and look formidable enough to shake the core of Dutch play. Any day, I would give Le Oranje a clear victory but this is Brazil, South America.
Mexico will prove a hard nut to crack. I give them a shock 2-1 win in extra time.
They will then face Greece in the quarterfinals. Shocking, huh? The Greeks have been branded the most boring side, but they cannot be rubbished. They find goals hard to come by but their defending is as well fair enough.
Both Greece and Costa Rica have already gone beyond their expectations and this fixture is a bonus. Costa Rica, having come through the group of England, Uruguay and Italy without a loss, will be more confident approaching this fixture. From massive underdogs to being such a highly favoured side, they got it all but that does not rule out the pressure on them now. Greece will wear them down and win.