Five things we learned: Korea Republic 1-2 Mexico
Mexico can end their last-16 curse, and it's too little too late from Korea's talisman Son Heung-Min. It's five things we learned about Korea Republic v Mexico.
MEXICO CAN END LAST-16 CURSE
Unless the unthinkable happens, Mexico will reach the knockout stage for the seventh consecutive time. However, on each of the previous six occasions Mexico haven’t progressed any further.
Mexico could face Serbia, Switzerland or Brazil in the last 16, all of whom they can beat on the form they've shown so far.
JAVIER HERNANDEZ MAKES HISTORY
Javier Hernandez scored his 50th goal for Mexico, the first player in history to do so. And it was a classic Chicharito goal, lurking in the penalty area ready to capitalise on any opportunity that falls to him, he tricked past one defender and in a tight space managed to poke the ball through Jo Hyeon-Woo into the net.
At 30 his best days are behind him but his ability to sniff out a goal remains, and without much strength in depth, Mexico will rely on him if they're going to make an extended run in the competition.
SON SHOWS UP TOO LATE
Korea Republic will have been relying on their talisman, Son Heung-Min, to produce the kind of magic we’ve seen from him in Premier League. But all he could muster today was a 90th minute consolation goal. It was a great strike, but just too little too late.
No other player on the pitch had more shots than him today, eight in total.
Carlos Vela scored from the 14th penalty awarded at this World Cup, that’s already more than at the previous championships in Brazil.
The obvious explanation would be that the introduction of VAR has prevented referees from missing penalty deserving incidents, but over the past two days of World Cup football we’ve seen two penalties overruled and annulled by the video assistants.
MEXICO ARE SPOT KICK SPECIALISTS
Of Mexico’s 60 goals scored in their entire history at the World Cup, 10 of them have been from the spot. This historic statistic alone may not be cause for concern for their future opponents but Mexico’s current forwards are agile, tricky, and everything that will make defenders hesitate before sticking out a leg only to make a lunge too late.