Mexico knocks out Croatia 1 – 3 Monday at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, securing their advance to the second round of the tournament.
Mexico, along with host country Brazil moves on to the round of 16 while Cameroon and Croatia exit the tournament.
Neither teams were able to land a goal on the first half of the match, but Mexico went for a comeback and aggressively attacked all throughout the second half.
Mexico’s patience finally paid off after landing successive goals near the end of the match, as Rafael Marquez strikes with a header from a cross delivered by Hector Herrera on the 71 – minute mark of the match.
Andres Guardado immediately makes a follow-up, attacking with a left-footed shot and scoring a goal on the 75 – minute mark. Mexico’s second goal of the match ensured their entry in the second round of the tournament.
Javier Hernandez adds another point for Mexico as he delivers a header from a headed pass by Rafael Marquez on the 82 – minute mark of the match.
Despite Mexico’s successive goals, Croatia manages to land a last-minute goal as Ivan Perisic scores with a left-footed shot which was assisted by Ivan Rakitic on the 87 – minute mark.
The match ends with Mexico scoring 3 while Croatia ends up with 1.
“We said we wanted to make history and get through this stage,” said Javier Hernandez after the match in Fox Sports. “It was very hard because these are very hard national teams like Cameroon, Brazil, and Croatia. I think we did it in the best way possible, scoring goals, playing good football and showing what we said in the interviews. Now we are speaking on the pitch. That is the most important part.”
Niko Covac comments about the result of the match on BBC Sports: “It’s a moot point whether we should have kept it 0-0 until the last 10 minutes and then go all out on the attack. We decided to attack earlier, but it wasn’t successful.”
“We kept the game open for a long time, but two corners decided the game.”
“We weren’t bad but the opponent was better.”
Mexico will soon be pitted against Netherlands, who topped Group B, at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza on Sunday.