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FIFA World Cup 2018 Highlights: Korea 1 Mexico 2: Mexico on the verge of last-16 berth

Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela

Rostov-on-Don, June 23: Goals from Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez helped Mexico beat Korea Republic 2-1 in the Group F encounter at Russia's Rostov Arena and edge close towards a round-of-16 berth at the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Mexico, shock winners over Germany in their opening game, went ahead in the 26th minute when Vela sent goalkeeper Cho Hyun-Woo the wrong way from the spot after Andres Guardado's cross hit the outstretched arm of Jang Hyun-soo at close range.

Fixtures | Results | Points table | Squads

Jang's handball gave referee Milorad Mazic little choice but to point to the spot - the number of penalties awarded in Russia consequently surpassing the 13 across the entirety of the previous World Cup - and Vela, who announced the death of his grandfather following the win over Germany, converted.

Hernandez added the second in the 66th minute, cutting inside his marker before guiding the ball home to finish off a lightning counter-attack after Mexico won the ball deep in their own half.

It was Hernadez' 50th international goal in his 104th appearance.

Hernandez's goal was nothing less than Mexico deserved following another accomplished performance, with South Korea having rallied following Vela's penalty.

Mexico's all-time leading scorer was well marshalled by South Korea's defence for much of the match, but took his chance when it came, slotting home in composed fashion at the culmination of a wonderful counter-attack.

Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-Min pulled one back for South Korea in stoppage time with a spectacular left-foot strike from outside the area. But the contest was as good as over by that time.

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Son's sublime 20-yard strike into the top-left corner punctured Mexico's defence in the third minute of stoppage time, but it would prove little more than a consolation as the Taeguk Warriors slumped to a second successive defeat.

The last time Korea had played Mexico in the World Cup was at the 1998 edition held at France when the former had the last say. But, twenty years later at the Rostov Arena on Saturday, the tables were turned.

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

Mexico lead the group with six points from two games while South Korea have lost both matches and have only a remote mathematical chance of progressing to the round of 16.

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Story first published: Saturday, June 23, 2018, 20:15 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 23, 2018
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