Mexico bowed out of the 2018 World Cup with a 2-0 loss to Brazil in the Round of Sixteen. El Tri was trying to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1986, but they ultimately came up short in their quest to reach the elusive “fifth game”.
The game started off well for Mexico, who took the game to Brazil. El Tri found success attacking down the wings, with Brazil’s outside backs having trouble dealing with Mexico’s speed. Hirving Lozano had an early opportunity after goalkeeper Alisson didn’t deal with a cross, but his second-minute shot was blocked.
They needed some last-day help from South Korea, but in the end Mexico was able to advance out of their group for the seventh consecutive time. El Tri now faces a tough task as they look to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1986 when they take on Brazil.
Brazil topped Group E with two wins and a draw, against Costa Rica, Serbia, and Switzerland, respectively, while Mexico finished second in Group F after wins against Germany and South Korea and a loss to Sweden.
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.
Group F wraps up this Wednesday with Mexico all-but-through to the Round of Sixteen, but they still have a little work to do.
El Tri is currently sitting on six points after victories against Germany and South Korea; Sweden and Germany both have three, while the Koreans, with no points, are unable to advance.
The formula is simple for Mexico: a win or draw not only puts them through but gives them first place in the group. If they lose and Germany fails to win, they’re still through – although likely in second place. However, if they lose and Germany wins, then Mexico, Germany, and Sweden will have six points and advancement will come down to tiebreakers.
Mexico made it two wins out of two as they beat South Korea 2-1 in their second Group F game. The result puts El Tri on the brink of the quarterfinals, and their spot in the knockout round could be assured later this afternoon depending on the result of the Germany/Sweden game. South Korea, meanwhile, is on the brink of elimination after their second straight loss.
The victory came in front of a largely pro-Mexico crowd in the Rostov Arena, and for once the ubiquitous homophobic goal-kick chant was inaudible as the fans chose instead to chant the names of players, yell “olé”, and sing “Cielito lindo”.
After a historic upset victory against Germany in their opening World Cup game, Mexico will look to keep the momentum going when they take on South Korea in Rostov this Saturday.
Both of Group F’s first-round games were decided by a single goal, with Hirving Lozano’s first-half strike lifting El Tri past the Germans while the Koreans fell 1-0 to Sweden thanks to a second-half penalty kick.
Mexico shocked the reigning World Cup champions with a 0-1 victory against Germany in the first Group F game. The result is the first time Germany has lost a World Cup opener since 1982, and is also the first time Mexico has ever beaten the Germans in this competition.
El Tri started the game off strongly, with their speed and attacking verve putting Germany on the back foot. Hirving Lozano had a chance in just the second minute when he was played in by Carlos Vela, but Jerome Boateng blocked the shot.
Group F action gets underway on Sunday, when Germany takes on Mexico in Moscow. The reigning World Cup champions cruised though qualification with a perfect 10-0-0 record, but since then the Germans have won just one of their last six friendlies. Mexico finished first in CONCACAF qualifying with a record of six wins, three draws, and one loss, and are 3-1-2 in their friendlies this year.
In terms of head-to-head results, Germany has dominated, with five wins, five draws, and just one loss, which came back in 1985. In their most recent meeting in the 2017 Confederations Cup semifinals, Germany earned a comprehensive 4-1 victory.
Juan Carlos Osorio has named the 23-man roster for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. There are not many surprises on the squad, with Osorio bringing an experienced team.
Only four of El Tri’s 23 are under age 25 (Carlos Salcedo, Edson Álvarez, Jesús Gallardo, and Hirving Lozano), while on the other end of the scale 39-year-old Rafa Márquez will be the second-oldest player in Russia this summer.
Notably, this is the first time Mexico’s World Cup squad has contained more players plying their trade internationally than domestically; just eight players come from within Liga MX, with the remaining 15 playing in the U.S. and Europe.
Mexico started the year off with a win as they beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 in an international friendly. The largely domestic-based roster earned the win by the minimum difference thanks to Hugo Ayala’s first goal for El Tri in the second half.
Bosnia was also testing young players, many of whom were inexperienced internationally, and Mexico looked the better side from the beginning. They were wasteful with their chances, however, with Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela both failing to capitalize on early opportunities.