Despite elimination in the round of the 16, Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera was happy with his team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
FORTALEZA, Brazil – Mexico’s 2014 FIFA World Cup participation ended abruptly on Sunday as the Netherlands struck for two goals in a furious late rally to post a 2-1 win in their round of 16 encounter.
Though disappointed to be eliminated at the same stage six consecutive times, Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera made a point to proclaim pride for his players and their efforts.
“I leave happy and calm with the boys’ performance,” expressed Herrera. “I reiterate, we had errors that led us not to take away the victory. Holland is a team that did things well, that worked, that I believe was beaten by Mexico, but did not stop fighting and got the final result that takes them to the next phase.”
The conditions at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza made the match complicated as high temperatures and intense sun became factors. Herrera, though, believed that his team did well to overcome those challenges and, physically, held up better than the Dutch.
“My team ran more,” noted the 46-year-old former Club America manager. “We gifted them possession of the ball, but we had more air to run, to fight with determination. They got their second wind when the equalizer fell that came from our mistake. But it was not because they went over us with the ball. They sent in long balls to win the aerial game and we solved it well. Physically, the team was good, solid.”
In the final analysis, Herrera maintained that the Tricolor participated in the World Cup with distinction, created memorable moments and should be collectively satisfied.
“I leave calm, proud for having acquired this team, of having led these extraordinary players,” he concluded. “I told them to keep their heads up, nobody can tell you nothing today. They had a great game and a great World Cup.”