Mexico march on to leave Korea Republic on the brink
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Jun 24, 2018,
Jun 24, 2018, 9:35
Earlier, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Orosio has made only one change to his lineup for the World Cup game against South Korea, keeping faith with players who combined to beat Germany in their Group F opener. Lozano probed the South Korean defense and laid the ball off to Hernandez, who became the first Mexican worldwide to score 50 goals for his country.
Son Heung-Min gave South Korea fleeting hopes of earning a point with a sublime, curling strike from 25 yards.
If Mexico's qualification isn't confirmed today, the national team will have the chance to determine its own fate in its third and final group match against Sweden in Ekaterinburg on Wednesday.
Mexico opened its World Cup by upsetting defending champion Germany 1-0.
Despite their overall boisterousness, Mexico's fans didn't use their usual controversial "eh, puto!" chant during goal kicks taken by the South Korean goalkeeper.
Korea improved on their opening defeat by Sweden although their main tactic consisted of searching for Son with long balls behind the defensive line. "But as of tomorrow we will be working hard thinking about Sweden and regardless of the results of the matches against Germany and South Korea, we are going to go out there to get the three points".
Mexico were awarded a penalty when Jang Hyun-soo handled a cross from Andres Guardado after 23 minutes. A volley from Vela skimmed the bar minutes later.
Carlos Vela stepped up to slot the ball home, sending South Korean goalkeeper Cho Hyun-Woo the wrong way from what was the 14th penalty in 28 games at Russian Federation 2018.
The closest they came to scoring in the first half was with a header from a corner which Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa tipped over the bar.
If Germany fails to win, Mexico locks up a spot in the round of 16.
Even if Germany wins, it would still be extremely unlikely that El Tri would not qualify for the second round of the World Cup for the seventh consecutive time. Defender Edson Alvarez replaced Hugo Ayala at the back.