Mexico hold off South Korea to pile pressure on Germany

Mexico hold off South Korea to pile pressure on Germany

Javier Hernandez scored his 50th global goal to help Mexico take a big step towards the last 16 of the World Cup with an impressive win over South Korea, despite Son Heung-min's stunning late strike.

Mexico lead with six points from two games while South Korea have lost both matches and have only a remote mathematical chance of progressing.

Hernandez and Carlos Vela scored a goal each at Rostov Arena.

Mexico were looking to build on their famous victory over the defending champions Germany in the group opener and, after a slow start this weekend, Javier Hernandez headed wide from a free-kick by Hector Moreno.

Mexico will face Sweden on Wednesday in Yekaterinburg with a chance to win Group F, a prospect that could set up a match against Brazil in the round of 16.

The hapless Koreans, who have no points after two games and have only won one of their last 11 World Cup fixtures, will be eliminated if Sweden draw or win against Germany.

The South Koreans managed successive counterattacks by targeting striker Son Heung-min but caused few problems for Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Juan Carlos Osorio's team dominated possession in the opening stages, and took the lead from the penalty spot on 26 minutes after Andres Guardado's cross into the box was clearly handled by a sliding Jang Hyun-soo.

"We didn't listen to the criticism", said Javier Hernandez, one of the scorers against South Korea.

Javier Hernandez and Miguel Layun of Mexico celebrate their team's victory in the World Cup match against South Korea on June 23, 2018, in Russian Federation.

South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong stuck to his attacking line up but shook up his midfield with Ju Se-jong and Moon Seon-min coming in for Park Joo-ho and Koo Ja-cheol, as the 2002 semifinalists seek to recover from their opening 1-0 loss to Sweden.

Miguel Layun pressed for a second goal before the break but his shot from a low cross-field drive was tipped away by Jo Hyeon-woo.

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