Yes, it was that kind of a day at soccer’s biggest tournament Sunday.
After trailing for 40 minutes, the Dutch tied with Mexico with two minutes left in regular time — and then won with another goal six minutes later. And Greece forced Costa Rica into a penalty shootout after an equalizer — in the 91st minute.
The knockout round continues Monday. And here’s what we’ll be watching for and talking about today:
1. Fleet-foot fest
France v. Nigeria at 12 p.m. ET:
Not a lot of “experts” were talking up France before the finals began, but Les Bleus have looked dangerous and terrific at times.
Still, coming off a 0-0 draw against Ecuador in its group finale could give some cause for pause. But Coach Didier Dechamps started six new players in that match, allowing half of his normal starters to rest.
They’ll need the little extra energy against Nigeria, a side considered fast and physical. Nigeria has a killer striker in Musa, who went toe-to-toe with Lionel Messi in the team’s well-played loss 2-3 loss to Argentina. The French also have to beat Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama, one of the best goalies in the tournament.
Fun fact: The referee for the game is Mark Geiger, the first American to work a World Cup knockout game.
2. Memory as motivator
Germany v. Algeria at 4 p.m. ET:
None of the players are old enough to remember 1982 when Algeria was on the verge of making the knockout rounds — but were denied a slot after West Germany and Austria just happened to play to a 1-0 result that sent both of them through instead. The Germans and the Austrians swore they didn’t conspire. But it’s because of that match that FIFA changed its rules and decided on simultaneous matches for the last games of the group stage.
“We haven’t forgotten,” Algeria’s coach Vahid Halilhodzic said. “We talk all the time about the match.”
3. Close but no cigar
Netherlands v. Mexico: 2-1
There’s no good way to lose at the World Cup. And to lose in added injury time, awful. On a penalty kick? The worst.
Mexico was just a few minutes away Sunday from moving on to the quarterfinals, when the Dutch scored in the 88th minute to equalize. Two minutes later, the Oranje won the game outright, thanks to a very suspicious dive by the Dutch superstar Arjen Robben that earned them a penalty.
4. Hard to shake off
Costa Rica v. Greece: 1-1 (then 5-3 in penalty shootout)
In the second squeaker Sunday, Costa Rica was all set to sail on to the quarter finals — except Greece had other ideas in the 91st minute. The Greek goal meant the two teams tied 1-1, which led to extra time and then to penalty shootouts. Costa Rica prevailed. But it’s not all bad news for the guy who tied it for the Greeks: Socratis Papastathaopoulous. Had Greece won, he’d have had to postpone his wedding.
5. Open mouth, insert foot
KLM’s controversial tweet
Netherlands’ win over Mexico already rubbed many the wrong way — but then the Dutch airline decided to throw salt in the wound with a very ill-advised tweet. It showed a picture of a Departures sign with an image of a mustache and a sombrero next to it. The tweet read: “Adios Amigos!”
KLM quickly deleted the tweet — but not before Twitter users raked the airline over the coals for its stereotyping.