Mexico wins again at World Cup, beats South Korea 2-1. Picture: AFP
Mexico wins again at World Cup, beats South Korea 2-1. Picture: AFP

Mexico continues perfect World Cup streak

THE criticism of Mexico's national team heading into the World Cup was loud and scathing. The answer has been emphatic.

The Mexicans won their second straight match at the tournament, beating South Korea 2-1 on Saturday (local time) to move ever closer to a spot in the round of 16.

"We didn't listen to the criticism," said Javier Hernandez, one of the scorers against South Korea.

"It was just noise."

Mexico opened its World Cup by upsetting defending champion Germany 1-0. A second victory on Saturday gives it six points and a chance to win Group F on Wednesday when the team faces Sweden.

"We want the Mexican people to enjoy this. We are going to enjoy it," Hernandez said.

Mexico’s Javier Hernandez takes on South Korea’s Lee Seung-woo (L) and Oh Ban-suk.
Mexico’s Javier Hernandez takes on South Korea’s Lee Seung-woo (L) and Oh Ban-suk.

"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."

Hernandez and Carlos Vela scored a goal each at Rostov Arena. Vela converted from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after Jang Hyun-soo handled the ball while trying to stop a cross from Andres Guardado.

Hernandez added the second in the 66th, scoring his 50th goal for Mexico. He hit the ball low past goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo after collecting a pass from Hirving Lozano.

"We have beaten two brilliant and complicated teams, Germany and South Korea," Hernandez said.

"Our talent and hard work have paid off."

South Korea’s Lee Yong (L) is comforted by teammate Son Heung-min after the loss to Mexico.
South Korea’s Lee Yong (L) is comforted by teammate Son Heung-min after the loss to Mexico.

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said he prepared more for the match against South Korea than for the game against Germany.

"Very often when you play countries or teams with less of a footballing history, human beings tend to rest on their laurels a little bit. They tend to relax, they tend to lose focus, so every weekend, every match, we insist on being fully focused on not losing that important message," Osorio said.

"We've received a lot of praise, we the team, and we've tried to remain focused."

Son Heung-min scored a consolation goal for South Korea in injury time, sending a powerful shot past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Mexico’s Miguel Layun (L) celebrates with Javier Hernandez after the final whistle.
Mexico’s Miguel Layun (L) celebrates with Javier Hernandez after the final whistle.

The South Koreans, who have lost their opening two matches, kept Ochoa under pressure throughout the match with Son often outsprinting the Mexican defence.

Mexico relied on keeping possession and long-range shots, with a powerful attempt from Guardado forcing an athletic save from Jo in the second half. A volley from Vela skimmed the bar minutes later.

Mexican fans avoided using a chant, which is considered to be homophobic by FIFA, against the opposing goalkeeper. The chant earned the country's soccer federation a fine after the previous match.



Bid to reopen Kimberley Kampers hits big snag

premium_icon Bid to reopen Kimberley Kampers hits big snag

Is this the end for this Ballina business?

Sister says relationship 'broken' after Universal Medicine

premium_icon Sister says relationship 'broken' after Universal Medicine

Witness 'horrified' over 'chakra-puncture' therapy  

HORROR WEEKEND: Five motorcyclists die on our roads

HORROR WEEKEND: Five motorcyclists die on our roads

Two riders were from the Northern Rivers

Local Partners