El Tri
Paul Aguilar (top) of Mexico celebrates a goal against Netherlands during their international friendly soccer match in the Amsterdam Arena November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters/United Photos

AMSTERDAM -- “No Era Penal!”Was the mantra shouted by Mexican fans for 136 days as they waited for their rematch against the Netherlands. They made sure to avenge that loss on Wednesday as they defeated the Dutch 3-2 thanks to the return of Carlos Vela to the Mexican national team. Vela scored a brace and Chicharito scored as well to give El Tri the victory in Amsterdam Arena.

Both Vela and Chicharito got the surprise start for Miguel Herrera’s squad and both players showed the world what El Tri could have looked like in the attacking front had Vela stayed with the national team. Vela accepted Herrera’s invitation to return to Mexico last month after a self-imposed three year ban. He was stupendous on this day as he scored in the 8th minute and the 62nd minute to lead Mexico to victory.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez added a goal in the 69th minute thanks to the referee’s assistant keeping his flag down. Chicharito dribbled passed the Netherlands goalkeeper, Tim Krul, for his 38th international goal for Mexico, putting him one behind Cuauhtemoc Blanco for second most goals scored in Mexican history.

Vela opened up the scoring for Mexico with his first goal for El Tri since 2011 and it was a goal most men only dreamed of. The Dutch gave Vela too much space as he approached the box and he made them pay with a crushing golazo from long distance that just did sneak inside the near post.

The Netherlands would recover after going down a goal as they put pressure on the Mexico defense during the end of the first half. Similar to the second half of their historic World Cup match, Arjen Robben, pushed the ball into the Mexican zone frequently creating many opportunities to equalize. At halftime, the Netherlands had outshot Mexico 13 to 4, and you got the feeling watching the match, that it was only a matter of time until the Netherlands scored.

The equalizer finally came in the opening minutes of the second half thanks to Wesley Sneijder who scored the goal of the game and maybe the goal of the year with his cracker from outside the box.

Vela countered with another goal inside the box that ricocheted off of Krul and into the net. Mexican newcomer, Jesus Corona, who was making his El Tri debut, sent a beautiful pass into the box that Vela was able to control and show why he is the best Mexican soccer player in the game today. The Cancun native proved beyond a shadow of a doubt his impact on the match and just how lethal Mexico can be when he is on the pitch.

Manchester United’s, Daley Blind, blasted another shot from outside the box that Memo Ochoa tipped into the back of the net, to bring the Netherlands close again at 3-2. Mexico was able to hang on this time however, and exacted some revenge for their controversial loss in Brazil back in July. The revenge was sweet, but not ultimate as Mexico would still love to offer some payback at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The match did not go as planned for the Dutch who have struggled since the World Cup under new coach, Guus Hiddink. The beautiful new Amsterdam Arena was not sold out for the event, and the fans showed their disgust for their country’s performance by leaving early. After the 80th minute, with Mexico in control 3-2, chants of “No Era Penal!” and “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” could be heard throughout the arena.

Mexico now goes on to face Belarus on Tuesday while the Netherlands find themselves in some hot water as they are winless since losing to Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals. They have lost two consecutive Euro Cup qualifiers, and will have a third against Latvia on Sunday.

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