Full time: Mexico 2, South Korea 0
Group F, Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don
With its win over South Korea, Mexico won its first two group-stage games for the first time since 2002. El Tri scored twice, once on a first-half penalty kick from Carlos Vela and the second from Chicharito in the 66th minute. Chicharito’s goal marked his 50th career international score for Mexico, further solidifying his spot as Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer.
After a quiet offensive showing against Sweden, South Korea took more shots than Mexico on Saturday with 17 shots and six on goal. Even when South Korea scored during stoppage time to threaten Mexico’s advantage, El Tri hung on to the lead in the final moments. Mexico is now poised to advance to the round of 16 for the seventh consecutive World Cup.
Mexico: vs. Sweden in Ekaterinburg, Wednesday, 10 a.m.
South Korea: vs. Germany in Kazan, Wednesday, 10 a.m.
South Korea scores in stoppage time
South Korea won’t leave this game scoreless thanks to Son Heung-Min’s shot from outside the box during stoppage time. Mexico leads 2-1 with about two minutes remaining.
Two more yellow cards for South Korea
Lee Seung-Woo and Jung Woo-Young both are shown yellow cards in the 72nd and 80th minutes, respectively. South Korea has now been shown four yellow cards through this game.
Another goal for El Tri!
Mexico extends its lead with Chicharito’s goal from the center of the box after a well-placed assist from Hirving Lozano. That marks his 50th international career goal for Mexico.
Yellow cards and a substitution
Lee Yong of South Korean is shown a yellow card in the 63rd minute, shortly after teammate Kim Young-Gwon received one in the 58th minute. South Korea then takes Ju Se-Jong off the field and replaces him with Lee Seung-Woo, which is the first substitution of the game.
South Korea’s Jo Hyeon-Woo keeping El Tri out of the net
Hirving Lozano, who scored the game-winner against Germany, wins a free kick in the 54th minute, but his attempt to score lands right in the hands of South Korea’s goalkeeper, Jo Hyeon-Woo. A few minutes later, Jo dives to his left with an outstretched arm to keep Andrés Guardado from scoring.
Halftime: Mexico 1, South Korea 0
Mexico leads at halftime with the only goal so far coming on Carlos Vela’s successful penalty kick. That marked the 14th penalty of this tournament, which is already more than the entire 2014 tournament, according to FIFA.
While El Tri has dominated possession, both teams have had multiple chances to score that neither has has been able to capitalize on. Coming off an impressive win over Germany, Mexico could move closer to securing a spot in its seventh straight round of 16 appearance with a win over South Korea.
Scoring opportunities but no goals
South Korea continues to possess the ball far less than Mexico, but the Reds are beginning to generate scoring chances. In the 39th minute, Son Heung-Min faced Mexico’s goalkeeper one-on-one but could not complete the tricky, short-range shot from left of the goal. A few minutes later, a shot from Mexico’s Hirving Lozano flew just over the goal post.
On a penalty kick in the 26th minute, Carlos Vela sailed the ball past South Korean goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-Woo, who dove to the left. The penalty was conceded by Jang Hyun-Soo.
Not many chances early on
Through the game’s first 15 minutes, Mexico only took one shot, which came following a set-piece situation. Mexico then notched its first shot on goal in the 17th minute when Carlos Salcedo’s header was saved by the Korean goalkeeper. South Korea hasn’t taken any shots, which is not as surprising given the Reds just had five shots, none of which were on target, in their game against Sweden. While the game remains scoreless, El Tri has dominated possession so far.
South Korea made three changes to its lineup, inserting Kim Min-Woo, Ju Se-Jong and Moon Seon-Min into the starting 11 against Mexico. El Tri’s lone move was to replace Hugo Ayala with Edson Alvarez to start.
Coming off a stunning victory over Germany, the 2014 champion, Mexico will face a South Korean team looking for its first win of this year’s tournament. South Korea’s loss against Sweden marked the first time the team lost its World Cup opener since 1998. The Taegeuk Warriors, who are the lowest ranked team in the group, did not register a single shot on goal in the matchup with Sweden. With a win in its second game of the group stage, Mexico will be poised to advance to its seventh straight knockout stage.
- Last showing in the World Cup: Round of 16, 2014.
- Best finish: Quarterfinals, 1986, 1970.
- Notable: Mexico has played in the Round of 16 in six straight World Cups. But in the streak that dates back to 1994, Mexico has never advanced to the quarterfinals.
- FIFA world ranking: 15. ELO world ranking: 13.
- Last showing in the World Cup: Group stage, 2014.
- Best finish: Fourth place, 2002.
- Notable: South Korea struggled in its 10 final-round Asian qualifiers, winning just four games.
- FIFA world ranking: 57. ELO world ranking: 44.
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