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Netherlands, Costa Rica Advance to World Cup Quarterfinals

  • VOA News

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (L) and Dirk Kuyt of the Netherlands celebrate Huntelaar's goal during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza June 29, 2014.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (L) and Dirk Kuyt of the Netherlands celebrate Huntelaar's goal during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza June 29, 2014.

Costa Rica and the Netherlands, both in dramatic fashion, have reached the quarterfinals of football's World Cup in Brazil.

Already beating the odds by advancing out of one of the most difficult first round groups, Costa Rica shocked Greece in a penalty kick shootout Sunday in Recife.

The teams ended regulation and in extra time tied a 1-1, and Costa Rica made all five of its kicks from the penalty spot to prevail 5-3.

Earlier Sunday in Fortaleza, the Netherlands stunned Mexico with two late goals in a 2-1 victory.

Costa Rica took the lead against Greece in the 52nd minute and played valiantly after being reduced to 10 men in the 66th minute after Oscar Duarte was expelled for his second yellow card of the game. But Greece got the equalizer in the first minute of stoppage time after the regulation 90 minutes. Neither team managed to find the net in 30 minutes of extra time resulting in the shootout.

This is the first time Costa Rica has reached the World Cup quarterfinals.

In Sunday's first match, the Mexicans appeared to be moving on thanks to a Giovani Dos Santos goal in the 48th minute. But Wesley Sneijder scored the equalizer for the Dutch in the 88th minute.

Then in stoppage time after the regulation 90 minutes, a disputed penalty kick was awarded to the Dutch, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted it to give his team the thrilling comeback win.

The Netherlands will play Costa Rica in the quarterfinals next Saturday.

Two more quarterfinalists will be determined Monday, with Nigeria facing France and Germany taking on Algeria.

The U.S. team takes aim at a quarterfinal berth when it plays Belgium on Tuesday. Also Tuesday, Argentina goes against Switzerland.

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