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.
The Mexican national team will be in action for the first time in 2018 when they take on Bosnia-Herzegovina this Wednesday in an international friendly.
El Tri last took the field in November, when they drew Belgium and beat Poland in a pair of friendlies in Europe, while Bosnia was just in action this Sunday when they played out a 0-0 draw with the USA in another friendly.
This game will be played in San Antonio, and since it doesn’t fall on a FIFA date, Mexico’s roster is almost entirely Liga MX-based.
The Mexican national team will face their counterpart from Bosnia-Herzegovina in an international friendly this Wednesday. It will be El Tri’s first game of 2018 as they continue preparations for this summer’s World Cup.
Headlining the roster is 18-year-old Jonathan González, the young dual-national who has switched his international allegiance from the U.S, to Mexico. González represented the U.S. at the U-17 and U-20 levels before choosing Mexico.
Mexico beat Poland 1-0 on Monday afternoon in their international friendly. The result is a second good one for El Tri against European opponents after they drew with Belgium in another friendly last Friday.
Mexico took the lead early, with Raúl Jiménez making it 0-1 in the 13th minute. Javier Aquino had been driving into the box, only to have the ball rebound off a Polish defender. The loose ball fell for Jiménez, however, and his left-footed shot beat Wojciech Szczesny to give El Tri the lead.