World Cup - Group A
Croatia1Mexico3

World Cup: Croatia 1-3 Mexico

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Mexico go through to the last-16 to face the Netherlands

Mexico booked a last-16 tie against the Netherlands after knocking Croatia out of the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

The Croats, who knew a win would put them through, survived a scare when a Hector Herrera strike hit the crossbar.

But Rafael Marquez headed in for Mexico before Andres Guardado drove in a shot and Javier Hernandez nodded home to put them 3-0 up.

Ivan Perisic scored for Croatia, whose misery was compounded when Ante Rebic was sent off late on.

It was an accomplished display from the North Americans, who nullified Croatia's threat before imposing their authority on the Group A game.

A draw would have been enough for Mexico, but they made sure of a seventh knockout stage appearance in the last eight tournaments with a victory.

In contrast, Croatia crumbled in the latter stages and have now been eliminated at the group stage in four of their last five major tournaments.

Croatia playmaker Luka Modric had claimed Mexico benefited from a "great deal of luck" in their draw with hosts Brazil, but it was the Real Madrid midfielder's side who enjoyed the early fortune at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

Following Mexican defender Paul Aguilar's last-ditch header to stop striker Mario Mandzukic nodding in, the Aztecs went up the other end and twice went close.

Midfielder Herrera let fly from 25 yards and was only denied when his left-foot strike came crashing back off the crossbar, while team-mate Oribe Peralta was played through only to mis-time his effort and shoot wide.

Croatia's threat was being contained and one of the rare opportunities that came their way involved Perisic latching onto a knockdown and shooting wide.

Niko Kovac's side had to take more risks the longer the game progressed and, despite showing more urgency after the break, Mexico comfortably quelled them.

Kovac brought on midfielder Mateo Kovacic for defender Sime Vrsaljko as he tried to improve his side's chances of scoring but it was Mexico who made the breakthrough.

Just moments after they had a penalty claim waved away following Srna's hands blocking a shot from Guardado, Mexico took the lead when Marquez powered in a header from a corner.

Shortly afterwards, Oribe Peralta set up Guardado to fire a shot high into the net and double the advantage.

Then Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez ended his 11-game goal drought when he nodded in at the far post after a Marquez flick-on to put Mexico out of reach.

Perisic drove in a low effort as Mexico conceded their first goal of the finals but it was little more than a consolation as Croatia's Rebic was dismissed for a crude challenge on Carlos Pena.

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera:

"We overcame the first hurdle. We're happy.

"That is one of the happiest days of my life. It was a hard fight, but my team pulled through. We felt as if we were playing at home in Mexico.

"We're going to celebrate tonight but tomorrow we have to start thinking of our match with the Netherlands."

Croatia coach Niko Kovac:

"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 captain Rafael Marquez gives his side the lead against Croatia
Rafael Marquez has scored for Mexico in each of the last three World Cups
Mexico striker Javier Hernandez celebrates scoring against Croatia
Each of Mexico's last eight goals at the World Cup have arrived in the second half
Mexico manager Miguel Herrera shows his delight after his side score against Croatia
Mexico won their final group game at a World Cup for the first time since 1986
Croatia playmaker Luka Modric (left) and manager Niko Kovac
Croatia conceded more than one goal against Mexico for the first time in their history

Line-ups

Croatia

  • 1Pletikosa
  • 11Srna
  • 2VrsaljkoSubstituted forKovacicat 58'minutes
  • 3PranjicSubstituted forJelavicat 74'minutes
  • 5Corluka
  • 6Lovren
  • 4Perisic
  • 7RakiticBooked at 9mins
  • 17Mandzukic
  • 10Modric
  • 18OlicSubstituted forRebicat 69'minutesBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 8Vukojevic
  • 9Jelavic
  • 12Zelenika
  • 13Schildenfeld
  • 14Brozovic
  • 15Badelj
  • 16Rebic
  • 19Cruz Campos
  • 20Kovacic
  • 21Vida
  • 22da Silva
  • 23Subasic

Mexico

  • 13Ochoa
  • 22Aguilar
  • 7Layún
  • 15Moreno
  • 4MárquezBooked at 39mins
  • 2Rodríguez
  • 6Herrera
  • 23VázquezBooked at 66mins
  • 19PeraltaSubstituted forPeñaat 79'minutes
  • 10G dos SantosSubstituted forHernándezat 62'minutes
  • 18GuardadoSubstituted forFabiánat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1J Corona
  • 3Salcido
  • 5Reyes
  • 8Fabián
  • 9Jiménez
  • 11Pulido
  • 12Talavera
  • 14Hernández
  • 16Ponce
  • 17Brizuela
  • 20Aquino
  • 21Peña
Referee:
Ravshan Irmatov
Attendance:
41,212

Match Stats

Home TeamCroatiaAway TeamMexico
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home10
Away11
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away9
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Croatia 1, Mexico 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Croatia 1, Mexico 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Dejan Lovren (Croatia).

  4. Post update

    Javier Hernández (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Croatia. Ivan Perisic tries a through ball, but Mario Mandzukic is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic with a cross.

  7. Dismissal

    Ante Rebic (Croatia) is shown the red card.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia).

  9. Post update

    Carlos Peña (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Nikica Jelavic (Croatia).

  11. Post update

    Rafael Márquez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Croatia 1, Mexico 3. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Carlos Peña.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Héctor Moreno.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marco Fabián (Mexico) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Mexico. Marco Fabián replaces Andrés Guardado.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia).

  18. Post update

    Javier Hernández (Mexico) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Croatia 0, Mexico 3. Javier Hernández (Mexico) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rafael Márquez with a headed pass following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil32107257
2Mexico32104137
3Croatia31026603
4Cameroon300319-80

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands330010379
2Chile32015326
3Spain310247-33
4Australia300339-60

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Colombia22005146
2Ivory Coast21013303
3Japan201112-11
4Greece201103-31

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Costa Rica22004136
2Italy21012203
3Uruguay210134-13
4England200224-20

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France22008266
2Ecuador21013303
3Switzerland210146-23
4Honduras200215-40

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Argentina22003126
2Nigeria21101014
3Iran201101-11
4Bos-Herze200213-20

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany21106244
2USA21104314
3Ghana201134-11
4Portugal201126-41

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium22003126
2Algeria21015413
3Russia201112-11
4South Korea201135-21
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