Swedes beat Mexico 3-0 but both go through to last 16

Sherman Parsons
June 30, 2018

Brazil hasn't quite been the unstoppable behemoth you may have expected in Russian Federation thus far, settling for a 1-1 draw with Switzerland before an expected victory over Costa Rica and a solid performance against Serbia.

Mexico have qualified for the last-16 stage of the 2018 World Cup despite suffering a 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their final Group F clash on Wednesday afternoon.

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This victory locks the first place in the group for Sweden, as they qualify for the second round.

However, if Sweden beats Mexico 2-1 and Germany beats Korea 1-0, Sweden would go through as the group victor with Mexico and Germany deadlocked and El Tri moving through thanks to their head-to-head win over the reigning champion.

"We're a national team whose goal is to go after games, to stand out, become protagonists and the way to do that is to play good soccer on the field".

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The Swedes extended their lead in the 62nd minute when Andreas Granqvist fired home a penalty after the referee ruled that Marcus Berg had been fouled by Hector Moreno.

The previous record for a booking in a World Cup match was set at the 1986 World Cup when Uruguay defender Jose Alberto Batista picked up a red card playing against host nation Mexico after just 54 seconds. "That match made us stronger, more confident. We've definitely grown since the last match".

"It is very deserved that the fans recognized the coach", goalkeeper Ochoa told a news conference at the team's training base.

"We always knew we would have to fight all the way to the last game", Ochoa said.

That left Mexico in a perilous position, as a late German victor would have sent the Central Americans crashing out, but two injury-time South Korean goals in Kazan ensured Juan Carlos Osorio's men edged through as runners-up.

Soon after, Alvarez sent the ball into his own net as Sweden ended up usurping Mexico's top spot in Group F. It's exactly the kind of big dreams that 30-year-old forward Javier Hernandez was criticized for prior to the tournament when he said winning this year's World Cup was a possibility. Having something to play for in this final group stage game fits right into this team's mentality, Hernandez said. But its aggressive style also bit them, opening up some counterstrike chances for Sweden, which it took advantage of. "For many who are aware of Mexico's history they say this is perhaps the best generation of Mexican footballers".

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