Mexico 0-3 Sweden: World Cup 2018 Group F: match report
Follow all the action from the Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg as Mexico take on Sweden in Group F with kick-off at 16:00 CEST.
Sweden went through to the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup in style with a convincing 3-0 victory over Mexico, who will join the Scandinavians in the knock-out stages after South Korea stunned defending champions Germany in the Kazan Arena.
On an afternoon of knife-edge drama in Russia, Sweden rarely looked in danger of not deciding their own destiny as they comfortably put away a pale shadow of the Mexico side that beat Germany in their opening game and South Korea in their second to start the day in pole position in Group F. All the early pressure came from the Blue-Yellows, who had several decent chances to open the scoring but a combination of Guillermo Ochoa’s gloves and Mikel Forsberg’s profligacy kept Mexico in the game until the break.
Janne Andersson, who was incandescent with rage after his side were denied by VAR what appeared to be a clear penalty when Chicharito handled in the area, must have delivered a Churchillian speech at half time: far from allowing missed chances and the vagaries of the video referee to linger, Sweden came out with all guns blazing and took a deserved lead through Werder Bremen full back Ludwig Augustinsson, who latched onto a looping Viktor Claesson mishit to hammer a shot through Ochoa.
Andreas Granqvist, who was unflappable in defence, then stepped up with similarly cool detachment in the 61st minute to slap a penalty past the Mexico keeper after Héctor Moreno brought down Marcus Berg.
Sweden went 3-0 up a little over 10 minutes later when Edson Álvarez conspired to palm the ball past his own keeper under pressure from Ola Toivonen and from there it was simply a case for Andersson’s side of making sure they retained their significant advantage.
Mexico scrape through despite dominant Sweden display
Mexico continued to press for a goal, substitute Marco Fabián firing narrowly over and Chicharito failing to guide a rare chance on target but as the clock ticked down in Yekaterinburg attention in the stands turned to phones and radios as Mexico fans nervously awaited tidings from Kazan.
A huge roar sent the message to the players that South Korea had taken an improbable lead against the defending champions and as the whistle went in the Central Stadium Sweden’s players set off about their celebrations while Mexico’s glanced nervously around. Another South Korea strike sparked pandemonium in the stands and Mexico were finally assured of a place in the last 16, although the manner of that achievement will be a cause of concern for Juan Carlos Osorio.
The Mexico coach had dampened much of the criticism of his side in the national media with two wins from two but El Tri were never at the races against Sweden, who eventually topped the group to hand Mexico a probable knock-out game against Brazil.
Andersson, meanwhile, will have been hugely satisfied by how his side reacted to the pressure of the situation and confident that Sweden can reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994 when they face the runners-up in Group E.