Prior to the start of the tournament, the Netherlands had been expected to struggle, especially in a group with Spain and Chile. Spain were the reigning world champions, Chile the feisty upstarts, and the Dutch seemingly had little momentum. Cut to today and they emerged comfortable group winners, breezing past Spain 5-1 and comfortably defeating Chile 2-0. They look one of the better sides in the World Cup at this point, and with questions about their ability to compete behind them, they could be set for a deep run.
Their improvement can't quite match Mexico's, however, especially considering where the final CONCACAF qualifiers were just under a year ago. Jose Manuel de la Torre oversaw just one win in seven matches, and it looked as though they'd miss out entirely. Miguel Herrera's tenure began shortly before the playoff victory over New Zealand, and since arriving in Brazil they've been very, very good. Netherlands will be their toughest opponent to date, but Mexico getting a result wouldn't be a complete surprise.
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