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.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Captain Andreas Granqvist scored from the spot while marshaling a strong defensive effort for Sweden.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
After Augustinsson’s goal, Mexico looked shellshocked as Sweden piled on pressure and, ultimately, goals
MATCH TO FORGET
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.