Mexico Sinks South Korea, Stay Perfect At 2018 World Cup

24 Junio, 2018, 03:54 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia-There were plenty of teams to be afraid of at the start of this World Cup.

The result ended 2-1, giving Mexico two wins from two and putting them in the driving seat for top spot in Group F, and leaving South Korea without a win in two games and their World Cup hopes all but over.

This win followed one of the World Cup's most confounding upsets, when Mexico toppled Germany 1-0 in its opener.

Hernandez and Carlos Vela scored a goal each at Rostov Arena.

Vela's penalty means more spot-kicks have now been awarded in Russian Federation than in the entire 2014 tournament in Brazil.

A win gave Mexico six points in Group F - and it's looking likely that Mexico can emerge as the victor of the group and avoid a Round of 16 showdown with Brazil.

Miguel Layun pressed for a second goal before the break but his shot from a low cross-field drive was tipped away by Jo Hyeon-woo.

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Korea improved on their opening defeat by Sweden although their main tactic consisted of searching for Son with long balls behind the defensive line. "They tend to relax, they tend to lose focus, so every weekend, every match, we insist on being fully focused on not losing that important message", Osorio said.

Korea's talismanic forward Son Heung-min struck a scorching consolation goal in stoppage time from outside the area. A volley from Vela skimmed the bar minutes later. Mexico relied on keeping possession and long-range shots, with a powerful attempt from Andreas Guardado forcing an athletic save from Jo in the second half.

After the match - as is usual - passionate soccer fans spilled into the streets all over the country to celebrate the victory, including Mexico City where the capital's annual gay pride march is also being held today.

Mexico will qualify for the last 16 if they win and Germany fail to beat Sweden.

South Korea will face Germany at the same time in Kazan. But history was not on Mexico's side because it had not won back-to-back matches at a World Cup since 2002.

Winning the group with three straight victories will be a good sign, but getting past the next round is the ultimate goal.

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