Mexico, Sweden Both Unchanged For World Cup

01 July, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist attends a press conference following a training session of the team at the Ekaterimburg Arena in Russia

Ludwig Augustinsson volleyed a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from close range five minutes into the second half, and captain Andreas Granqvist converted a penalty to help Sweden take control.

However, Sweden found the breakthrough five minutes after half-time when Viktor Claesson's mis-hit shot looped into the path of left-back Augustinsson and he volleyed in from close range to score his first ever worldwide goal.

The referee did not call for a VAR review despite Mexican protests.

An unfortunate own-goal from Edson Alvarez on 74 minutes sealed the win for Andersson's side to end above Mexico as group winners - as Germany lost 2-0 to South Korea.

Instead, the Germans have become the fourth defending champions in the last five tournaments to be eliminated in the group stage following a 2-0 loss to South Korea.

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Sardar Azmoun's header was blocked by Cedric Soares' arm, with referee Enrique Caceres again opting not to point to the spot. He marked the occasion with a saved penalty too. "When there is a penalty, everything becomes more warm in the pitch".

Sweden, who at half-time were heading home from Russian Federation, scored three times in the second half to top Group F with a deserved win.

Sweden secured their place in the last 16 of the World Cup with a win over Mexico, who also progressed as world champions Germany were knocked out.

"This is the Group of Death", he added, saying Mexico had a "magnificent opportunity to break that ceiling" after falling at the last-16 stage in each of the last six World Cups.

Granqvist stepped up to slam home the penalty kick and put Sweden on the brink of reaching the lat 16.

But while Mexico's fans and players had an anxious wait, the full-time whistle prompted raucous celebrations from Sweden's players who can look forward to a knockout clash in St Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon. "We don't want to stir things up too much". I'm very pleased with all of this.

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Germany, the clear favorite in this match, generated danger early on, but could not make it count.

El Tri's faithful could be seen frantically checking their phones for scoring updates in Germany's game soon after Sweden's second goal.

The game had a historic start with Jesus Gallardo collecting the fastest booking since World Cup records began, pulled up after just 13 seconds for a foul on Ola Toivonen.

But the Mexicans also threatened several times to score. "Mentally we are very very strong and with a belief in what we do", Sweden manager Janne Andersson was quoted as saying by FIFA.com.

Sweden were on course for the last 16 until Toni Kroos stepped up with a wonderful victor in the fifth minute of injury time to rescue the reigning champions 2-1 in a Saturday-night thriller.

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Mexico's Javier Hernandez strikes a shot.

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