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.
Reigning gold medalists Mexico saw their Olympic soccer campaign come to an abrupt, early halt with a 1-0 loss to South Korea. That result sees El Tri finish third in Group C and fail to advance to the knockout rounds. South Korea tops the group and is joined in the quarterfinals by Germany.
With the Germans crushing Fiji 10-0, Mexico needed to win this game to advance. They enjoyed more possession in the first half and kept the Koreans largely in their own defensive third; however, they were unable to capitalize on their chances as César Montes, Michael Pérez, Erick Torres, and Marco Bueno were all denied.
The final matches of Group C will be played concurrently on Wednesday afternoon. South Korea and Mexico both have four points, with the Koreans ahead on goal difference, followed by Germany with two and Fiji with none.
Mexico is guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals with a victory against South Korea or a Germany loss or draw.
Other scenarios that would see Mexico advance are a draw and Germany failing to win by four or more goals; or a loss and a Germany loss or draw.