After a dominant start to the 2018 World Cup, Mexico slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their final group-stage game. However, with Germany suffering a surprise 2-0 loss to South Korea in the other Group F game, Mexico was still able to advance to the Round of Sixteen.
The game did not start well for Mexico, with Jesús Gallardo earning the fastest yellow card in the history of the World Cup when he was called for an elbow on Ola Toivonen just 13 seconds after kickoff. Then, in the 5th minute, Memo Ochoa was called for handling the ball outside of the box and the keeper then had to come up big to keep out the ensuing free kick from Emil Forsgberg.
Sweden had a penalty shout in the 29th minute for a handball on Javier Hernández, but after consulting with VAR the appeal was waved away.
Mexico began to attack in earnest in the final 15 minutes of the half, with attempts from Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela, and Miguel Layún, but they were all blocked, missed, or saved.
Sweden went ahead early in the second half, with Ludwig Augustinsson making it 1-0 in the 50th minute when he finished off a low cross from Viktor Claesson.
El Tri fell further into the hole in the 60th minute after Héctor Moreno was called for a foul on Marcus Berg in the box. Andreas Granqvist stepped up to take the ensuing PK, and he converted it to give Sweden the 2-0 lead.
An own-goal by Edson Álvarez gave Sweden the unassailable 3-0 lead in the 74th minute.
At that point, Mexico’s fate was out of their hands as they were dependent on Germany failing to win in the simultaneous game in order to avoid elimination. South Korea then scored against the Germans in stoppage time, allowing Mexico to breath a sigh of relief.
With the 3-0 win, Sweden reaches six points while Mexico still has six. Sweden advances as group winner and Mexico as the runner-up.
Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, Héctor Moreno, Carlos Salcedo, Jesús Gallardo (Marco Fabián 65′), Edson Álvarez, Carlos Vela, Andrés Guardado (Jesús Manuel Corona 75′), Héctor Herrera, Javier Hernández, Hirving Lozano, Miguel Layún (Oribe Peralta 89′).
Sweden: Robin Olsen, Andreas Granqvist, Victor Lindelöf, Ludwig Augustinsson, Mikael Lustig, Albin Ekdal (Oscar Hiljemark 80′), Sebastian Larsson (Gustav Svensson 57′), Emil Forsberg, Viktor Claesson, Ola Toivonen, Marcus Berg (Isaac Kiese Thelin 68′).