Soccer News of Fri, 27 Jun 20140
No room for error for Netherlands, warns Van Persie
Netherlands striker Robin van Persie says there is no room for mistakes in his side's World Cup second-round tie with Mexico.
Wins over Spain, Chile and Australia saw Louis van Gaal's men finish top of Group B ahead of the South Americans, setting them up for a last-16 meeting with Miguel Herrera's men, who finished their group with seven points having held hosts Brazil to a goalless draw in between wins over Cameroon and Croatia.
The Oranje captain insists his side cannot afford to make any mistakes when they come up against the North Americans, who he admits are going to be a difficult opponent.
"It's now a knockout. They played really well and remained unbeaten in their group," he told Times of India. "Even the hosts could not score against them. That speaks volumes about their abilities.
"Moreover, they will be playing in familiar conditions. We have to be more alert and best-prepared to face all sorts of situations.
"There is absolutely no scope for errors. We have to minimise our errors and try our best to capitalise on the errors of our opponents. We are not thinking far at this point of time. Just want to concentrate on the match at hand and give our best."
The 30-year-old says he is happy with his side's performances in the group stage, particularly the 5-1 win over Spain, but insisted it was not revenge for the 2010 World Cup final defeat they suffered against La Roja.
"As far as the performances in the first round go, I am really happy. We beat all three in the group and when you know that we were placed in the 'group of death' with world champions Spain, it gives you immense pleasure.
"We won in a new tournament and our win did not give us the trophy, did it? You cannot talk of revenge in football.
"That was their day in the 2010 final, it was our day when we beat them 5-1 and that too after being 0-1 behind. It was satisfying to win against the defending champions, that's all."
The forward also admitted he was disappointed to miss his side's 2-0 win over Chile after picking up two bookings.
"I just could not forgive myself. I was very eager to play all the matches. We started quite well, won two matches, I got goals when the team required and then, against Chile, the team who were playing really well, I was out of it!
"I told my team-mates how frustrated I was. Thanks to them they gave me another victory and we topped the group without much of a problem."