Mexico win to set-up Dutch showdown
Posted under: 2014 FIFA World Cup, Mexico, Mexico News, News
Arena Pernambuco in the city of Recife was the battleground between Croatia and Mexico with both teams still with a chance of making the last 16. But the Mexicans ran three late goals to win 3-1 and set-up a match with the Dutch in the next round.
The game had the pace of a knock-out game from the first whistle as both teams put it some rough tackles to prevent each other’s movements.
Croatia’s Ivan Rakitic was the first in the referee’s book after a hard tackle on Jose Vazquez as the he was trying to get away in a counter-attack. The Croatians found the early tempo but never threatened the Mexican defence.
Mexico’s Hector Herrera rattled the crossbar in the 17th minute from 25 yards with the keeper beaten by the sweet shot from the midfielder. From there the Mexicans dictated terms as striker Oribe Peralta beat the offside trap and defender only to slip before taking a shot in front of goal after a through pass from Francisco Rodríguez. An animated Mexican Coach Miguel Herrera kept on marshalling his troops from the sideline while the stadium filled by Mexicans cheered the North American side.
Croatia’s best chance came when midfielder Ivan Perisic attempted a shot from 30 yards but failed to force a save in Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa.
The second half was similar to the first with more attacking in the early stages from Croatia but failing to crack the Mexican defence that still hadn’t conceded a goal at this world cup.
As the game dragged on the Mexicans seemed to have a psychological edge on the Croatians as they needed a win because Brazil was leading in the other game against Cameroon. The Europeans’ desperation to get a goal didn’t help as the Mexicans began attacking as the Croatians neglected their defensive duties.
The first goal of the game came in the 72nd minute through Captain Rafael Márquez moments after they were denied a clear penalty. Four minutes later defender Andrés Guardado scored the second to seal Mexico’s place in the second round. Substitute and Manchester United striker Javier Hernández scored the third as Mexico were now pushing for the first position in their group ahead of Brazil.
The Croatians found a consolation goal in the 87th minute through midfielder Perišić while teammate Ante Rebić was sent off just before the game ended to send Croatia home after an unlucky world cup that saw them only win one of their games and losing the other two.
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