The Netherlands national team crisis continued on Wednesday night as they were beaten 3-2 by Mexico at the Amsterdam Arena.

  • By Michael Bell
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robnetmexAfter three defeats in the last four games, Netherlands went into the match under severe pressure from fans and the media to put in a performance ahead of the crucial Eruo 2016 qualifier against Latvia on Sunday.

Coach Guus Hiddink named a completely different backline from the team that started the defeat to Iceland last month, but after only eight minutes the new look defence was already beaten with Carlos Vela sending a stunning strike into the top corner from 25 yards. Hiddink was then forced into an early change as Ron Vlaar, making his first Netherlands appearance since the World Cup, picked up an injury and was forced off, with Stefan De Vrij coming in.

Netherlands woke up as the half wore on, but they squandered several chances before the break, with Robben seeing a shot blocked from point blank range, and Memphis Depay looping an effort onto the roof of the net. The biggest chances however fell to Klaas jan Huntelaar, who started up front in the absence of Robin van Persie, with the Schalke star heading several times straight at Ochoa in the Mexico goal, while he also fired wide from a metre out after being left alone at the back post following a corner.

Four minutes into the second half Netherlands were finally level as Wesley Sneijder smashed a half volley into the top corner from just outside the box.

The goal saw Netherlands take control, but Mexico were dangerous on the counter attack, and on 62 minutes after Daley Blind lost the ball in midfield, Twente winger Jesus Corona sent Vela free on the left hand side of the box and his shot was too strong for Tim Krul. Seven minutes later it was 3-1 as Javier Hernandez beat a poor offside trap before rounding Krul and slotting into the empty net.

Daley Blind gave Netherlands hope with 15 minutes left as his strike from distance took a deflection before beating Ochoa, but there would be no equaliser as both Quincy Promes and Georginio Wijnaldum missed guilt edged chances late on.

A few days of criticism now lie ahead for Hiddink’s side as they head into the crucial match against Latvia. A huge improvement is needed from everyone involved, and even if Netherlands beat the lowly Latvia on Sunday, the KNVB need to take a serious look at Hiddink’s coaching set up.

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