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Mexico survives loss to Sweden to advance to knockout stage


After stunning many with two standout performances to open the World Cup, Mexico fell flat in a big way on Wednesday. However, El Tri found a way to survive thanks to an unlikely result.

A trio of second half goals pushed Sweden past a lackluster Mexico on Wednesday as El Tri lost for the first time at this World Cup. With the win, Sweden locked up its second victory and a final tally of six points while Mexico also finished on six points, just ahead of Germany thanks to South Korea’s 2-0 win over Germany.

Sweden finally broke through in the 50th minute after spending most of the first half generating the better chances. Ludwig Augustinsson provided the finish, taking advantage of a deflected shot by finishing the rebound past a helpless Guillermo Ochoa.

The second goal came 12 minutes later as Hector Moreno was called for a foul in the box. Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist buried his shot from the spot, doubling Sweden’s lead.

Sweden added a third off of an unfortunate own goal as Edson Alvarez cleared a cross off his own hand and in to push the scoreline to 3-0.

Ochoa made a number of key saves, including a big stop of a free kick just moments into the match. Sweden, meanwhile, failed to test Ochoa on several occasions, with forward Marcus Berg putting one chance over and another into the side-netting to close the half.

The most controversial moment of the first half came midway through as VAR determined that there was no handball on an incident that saw the ball strike Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s hand and chest.

In the second, though, Sweden poured it on as Mexico struggled in a big way for the first time in Russia.


Captain Andreas Granqvist scored from the spot while marshaling a strong defensive effort for Sweden.


After Augustinsson’s goal, Mexico looked shellshocked as Sweden piled on pressure and, ultimately, goals


Moreno’s penalty all but ended Mexico’s hopes of advancing while also knocking the defender out of El Tri’s first knockout round match.


  1. Sweden is another one of those overlooked teams. I thought they might finish last in the group, and certainly no better than 3rd. You have to hand it to them. One thing that impresses me about Sweden, now and in the past, is they fight hard. They play with great intensity and effort. While their goals were mostly the result of breakdowns by the Mexican defense, they did not allow Mexico to dominate the game like they did against S. Korea. I have seen this before–Mexico has trouble with large and athletic European teams and that showed up again today. In a way, coming in second may be beneficial since they historically do quite well against Brazil and may match up with them better than they do with the Swiss.

  2. A question for the experts out there. How was that not a handball midway through the first half. I’m not trying to be controversial but it sure looked like a handball to me and I am looking forward to a cogent explanation of why it was not.

    • According to the FIFA official used by Fox as a commentator, the ball first hit the chest and then rolled onto the arm which was in a natural position next to the body.
      That made it an unintentional ball to hand which is not a penalty. However, while it looked like that from one angle, from another angle it looked like it struck the side of his chest and the arm simultaneously. I have seen hand balls given in cases like that, but it is not given consistently. Whatever, it didn’t affect the out come of the game or the group.

  3. Absolutely rooting for Mexico failure. Any USMNT who doesn’t feel the same way is a soccer mom soft/weak minded millennial.

  4. Serious question. While I didn’t mind seeing Mexico compete and show well for CONCACAF (well, until today anyway….), do any of the hardcore “Vamos Mexico!!!” folks out there really want to see this go all the way? Meaning, do you actually want to see Mexico win the World Cup? Or at some point to you say “ok that’s good enough)”
    I think I’d rather die than listen to Mexico fans hold that bragging right for the next [x] decades.

    • Aww, trying throw mud now? Well, they made it in and regardless they did beat Germany in a World Cup. Remember, you have to make it to the World Cup to be able to suffer these losses and enjoy those other wins. You can’t compete if you don’t make it to the competition.

      • Jeff: Not throwing mud, just pointing out facts in light of the euphoria that overtook Mexico (as well as somein the American media) the past 10 days. El Tri is not a bad team, they’re just not as good as that 1-0 win against the “defending champion” suggested. Just keepin’ it real, jefe…

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