FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — The World Cup's highest-scoring team is about to meet arguably the tournament's best goalkeeper.
If the free-scoring Netherlands wants to progress to the quarterfinals in Brazil, it will have to do what only one man has done so far — beat Guillermo Ochoa.
The Mexico keeper has conceded just one goal, a late consolation strike by Croatia's Ivan Perisic in Mexico's 3-1 win.
The 28-year-old Ochoa kept out Samuel Eto'o as Mexico beat Cameroon 1-0 and then had one of the performances of the tournament the last time he appeared in Fortaleza, denying Neymar twice with spectacular saves and Thiago Silva late in the 0-0 draw with Brazil.
When the Brazil match ended, Mexico's players lined up to hug their man-of-the-match keeper.
"We respect (the Netherlands) as we do with all of the other teams, but we know that they are among the favorites to win the Cup and that does not scare us, it motivates us," Ochoa said. "If we can beat them we will go very far."
Striker-turned-defender Dirk Kuyt is confident the Dutch, who have scored 10 times in three group matches including hammering in a stunning five against defending champion Spain, can find a way past Ochoa, too, on Sunday in Fortaleza's Arena Castelao.
"We know our strengths in the team," said Kuyt. He mentioned speedy winger Arjen Robben, "but also we've got Robin van Persie. In my opinion, Wesley Sneijder is one of the best players in the world. So we want to use those strengths."
Mexico is in the round of 16 for the sixth straight time — only Brazil and Germany have a longer streak of progressing from the group stage — but the team's tournament has ended at the round of 16 each time.
The current Mexico team wants to go not just one better, but all the way.
"We talk about not only beating Holland, we aspire to beat every great team and play not just a fifth match, we want to win it all," said defender, Miguel Layun. "They are a great team that played for the title four years ago, and are candidates here, but if we win this one, our confidence will go through the roof."