Mexico took a 2-1 lead over South Korea in a valiant battle.
Mexico have moved one step closer to the next round of the World Cup after a 2-1 victory over South Korea. A first-half penalty and a second-half strike from Javier Hernandez were enough to see off South Korea, even after their late goal from Son Heung-Min.
Both teams struggled to impact the game at times, especially during the first half, but the second half opened up much more and chances started to flow. Mexico looked the better side and could have scored more than their two goals.
Mexico now know that they stand in a great position to qualify but it's not looking good for South Korea, who can only qualify if Sweden lose to Germany tonight and they defeat the Germans in their final group game.
**Five things we learned from the match: **
Mexico the dark horse?
Mexico started their World Cup campaign with an excellent performance and victory over Germany, this put them on some people's radars as the potential dark horse, but would their performances going forward be at the same level? Although there were periods of the game where Mexico struggled to create much, you always sensed that they were not far off from a moment where they could create a chance. Their performance was positive and the deeper they go into the tournament, the more teams will attack them and they can try and counter-attack, which is their big strength, so do not write the Mexicans off just yet!
South Korea's attitude
South Korea were marked down early as a team that could struggle in Group F, they lack some of the decisive quality needed at this level but have some decent players. They had a frustrating game against Sweden and have now lost to Mexico. Chances are they will be going home but their spirit is to be admired. Even after going two goals down to Mexico, they never gave up and nobody can question their work rate, this is highlighted by the late goal from Son, which even though it was only a consolation shows that they were not about to just give up. Looking forward, even if they have nothing to play for in their last game against Germany, you can bet they will give it their all to try and cause upset.
Mexico's defensive frailties
Although Mexico performed very well against South Korea, they were found to be leaky in defence, at times conceding chances which on this occasion were not taken. But against more quality opponents these defensive frailties can be exploited and this could harm Mexico going forwards. That said, Mexico had to play a more attacking style of football than they would like and are more likely to sit deep and defend against quality opposition.
Heung-Min Son struggles
You have to feel slightly for Son, he obviously has talent and he showed that with his excellent late goal, but this came at a time when the game was over already and it was merely a consolation prize. Throughout the game Son came across as a player under pressure, he is the star man and it shows. Maybe against Germany less will be expected of him so he can try and make an impact under less pressure, but you feel he will need to provide quality if South Korea are to get anything from that game.
Javier Hernandez record
Javier Hernandez has played for some big clubs in world football, and his ability has never been in doubt. He now has a place in record books as Mexico's first player to score 50 goals for his county, a tremendous achievement and one which only back up his obvious ability.