Mexico on the brink as Vela finds World Cup redemption

Hirving Lozano Jesus Gallardo Mexico

Hirving Lozano Jesus Gallardo Mexico

Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela scored as Mexico beat South Korea 2-1 in Rostov on Saturday to push themselves to the brink of the World Cup last-16.

Carlos Vela gave Mexico the lead with that penalty after Korean defender Jang Hyun-soo blocked Andres Guardado's cross with his arm inside the area, before the nation's all-time leading goalscorer Javier Hernandez doubled their lead in the second half with his 50th worldwide goal. South Korea needs a win or draw against Mexico to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stage of the tournament. Led by Tottenham's Son Heung-min, South Korea can't be overlooked by a Mexico side that has big goals following its statement victory.

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.

There was no complacency from Mexico after victory over Germany in their opening game.

Mexico showed their quality on the break again when Miguel Layun fired in a cross that Lozano very almost got on the end of, but they did not have to wait much longer to take the lead.

After 28 games at the World Cup, there have now been 14 spot-kicks, 11 of them converted, and there could be little complaint about this one, coming after a blatant handball by Jang Hyun-soo, Vela stepping up to convert.

- In the first half, Son Heung-min had six shots (including blocked attempts) - more than South Korea managed in the entirety of their first match against Sweden.

Not to be outdone, Cho was at his best soon after, South Korea's goalkeeper lunging to his right to tip Hernandez's goal-bound shot wide.

But Mexico's penalty in the 27th minute was clear.

The closest they came to scoring was with a header from a corner which Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa tipped over the bar.

Mexico appeared in control but allowed the South Koreans to set up a nervy finale when Son struck a stunning goal from range three minutes into injury time.

Just as South Korea were beginning to grow in confidence they fell behind.

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