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.