Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Mexico hold off South Korea to pile pressure on Germany

Donald Trump Jr.'s four-year-old daughter Chloe was threatened Donald Trump Jr.'s four-year-old daughter Chloe was threatened
Shannon Reynolds | 25 June, 2018, 20:08

Germany's last-gasp win over Sweden later on Saturday means South Korea can still qualify if they overcome the world champions next week and the Swedes also lose to Mexico.

Oddsmakers favor Mexico, most likely due to its stirring performance last Sunday in its upset win over Germany and overall World Cup pedigree - nine wins, seven draws and just two losses in its last 18 World Cup group-stage games.

Mexico is now assured of a slot in the round of 16 and now joins hosts Russian Federation and Uruguay from Group A, France of Group B and Croatia in Group and Croatia of Group C. Mexico unsurprisingly overcame Germany in their opening game.

It was not always smooth sailing for Juan Carlos Osorio's side, though, with Lee Yong and Son Heung-min passing up presentable opportunities in the early stages.

A first-half penalty and a second-half strike from Javier Hernandez were enough to see off South Korea, even after their late goal from Son Heung-Min.

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Thousands of soccer fans gathered in sports bars, churches, restaurants, pubs, football clubs and makeshift viewing stands all over Southern California on Saturday to watch Mexico take on South Korea in the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Nonetheless, Mexico did double their lead in the 66th minute with a counterattack that brought back memories of their victor against Germany.

Mexico took the lead in the 26th minute from the penalty spot, after Jang Hyun-soo was penalised for handball when he went to ground to intercept a cross. Lozano probed the South Korean defense and laid the ball off to Hernandez, who became the first Mexican global to score 50 goals for his country.

Vela nearly turned provider two minutes later with a neat ball into Layun, but the former Watford man lashed his effort over from close range. Ki suffered a left calf injury during the match against Mexico and will not be available for South Korea's duel against Germany. - Javier Hernandez is only the third player to score at three different World Cups for Mexico (2010, 2014 and 2018), joining Cuauhtemoc Blanco (1998, 2002 and 2010) and Rafael Marquez (2006, 2010 and 2014).

Mexico has reached the round of 16 in six straight World Cups, but the team has not advanced to the quarterfinals since playing at home in 1986.

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