Day two of the Round of 16 kicks off on Sunday when the Netherlands fight in Fortaleza with Mexico.

The match will mark the second time Mexico has played the Netherlands in the World Cup and the fourth time overall. Their previous World Cup match up came in 1998 when Mexico rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie the game 2-2. They lost the other two games however.

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The game will feature the powerful offensive attack of the Oranje, against the rugged, stingy, and underrated defense of El Tri. Netherlands has scored a World Cup high ten goals thus far, while Mexico has surrendered a World Cup low one goal.

Historically, Mexico has been pitiful against European opponents in the World Cup; they are 8-23 in their last 31 matches, including their victory over Croatia last Monday. However, recent history bodes better for Mexico thanks to the 2012 London Olympics, they are 9-2 against European teams overall in their last 11 matches.

After a runner-up finish at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Dutch come into the tournament this year with one goal and one goal only: win it all or else the tournament is a failure. Since 2010, Netherlands has won (not tied) nine of their last 10 World Cup matches. The only loss over that span was the Championship Final to Spain where they conceded a late goal in extra time.

The Dutch are averaging over 3 goals a game so far in the World Cup and 2.16 goals against Mexico alone. In order for Mexico to win they will have to play tight, conservative and mistake free defense. Mexico’s goalkeeper, “Memo” Ochoa will have to play equal to if not better than he did against Brazil the last time he was in Fortaleza. Netherlands will take advantage of almost every opportunity their opponents give them, and it is absolutely imperative that Mexico does not get into a shoot out with the Dutch.

Both teams have proven thus far that they need time to get going before firing on all cylinders. 10 of the last 12 goals scored on the World Cup stage for Mexico have been after half-time, including all four goals they have scored thus far in 2014. In contrast, Clockwork Orange have scored all of their goals in this year’s World Cup in the second-half with the exception of one.

This World Cup has been quite shocking thus far. Neither of these two teams were expected to get out of their group, let alone move through the groups unscathed. If anyone can shock the Dutch, El Tri is the team to do it. Make a mental note now, as two goals is the threshold I believe will win the game for either side. First one to two goals wins the match.

As a Latino myself, it’s hard for me to root against Mexico. However, I love the underdog, redemption story of the Netherlands. Mexico has already overachieved this year and has plenty of reasons to celebrate and be optimistic about the future. Robin van Persie is back and rested. He will be the difference in the match as Netherlands will be the first two reach two goals.

My Prediction: Netherlands breaks a 1-1 tie in the second-half. 2-1 Netherlands.

Betting odds courtesy of

Netherlands:   Pick Em’ (-220)    //   -115 Moneyline            
Mexico:    Pick Em’ (+180)   //     +320  Moneyline            
Draw +260