Mexico beat Korea Republic to close in on knockout stages – 2018 FIFA World Cup
epa06833844 Carlos Vela (L) of Mexico and Son Heung-min of South Korea in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group F preliminary round soccer match between South Korea and Mexico in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 23 June 2018.
Saturday Jun 23, 2018. 19:18
Mexico beat Korea Republic 2-1 in their second Group F match of the 2018 FIFA World at Rostov Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Koreans headed to this clash at the back of a loss to Sweden and the Mexicans were hoping for their second win after beating defending champions Germany.
Despite starting on the back foot, the Koreans upped their attack in 22nd minute and their header went over the cross bar with Guillermo Ochoa punching the ball for a corner.
However, Mexico were awarded a penalty four minutes later after the Korean defender handled the ball in the box and Carlos Vela converted to break the deadlock.
Song Heung-Min broke free on the left wing into the box, but had too many touches and Ochoa denied him one-on-one with 11 minutes to the interval.
Mexico’s Hirving Lozano also threatened the Korean defence after showing great movement on the edge of the box, but his effort sailed over the crossbar.
Mexico went to the tunnel leading 1-0.
In the second half, Javier Hernandez netted his 50th goal for Mexico, beating his marker in the box before easily beating keeper Cho Hyun-woo in the 66th minute.
However, the Asians continued to pressurise the Mexican defence and So Heung-min beat Ochoa with a fine strike to find a consolation goal in the injury time.
Despite their efforts and drive to find a second goal, time was not on Korea Republic’s side as they lost their second match.
The victory almost ensures Mexico a spot in the knockout stages, while the Koreans remain at the bottom with zero points.
Korea Republic (0) 1 (Heung-min 90’)
Mexico (1) 2 (Vela 26’ P, Hernandez 66’)
Korea Republic: Cho Hyun-woo, Young-gwon, Hyun-soo, Yong, Min-woo (Hong-chul 84’), Jae-sung, Se-jong, Seon-min (Woo-young 77’), Sung-yueng, Heung-Min, Hee-chan
Mexico: Ochoa, Guardado (Marquez 68’), Moreno, Salcedo, Álvarez, Gallardo, Layun, Herrera, Lozano (Corona 71’), Vela (Dos Santos 77), Hernandez