Javier Hernandez hit his 50th international goal as Mexico edged closer to progression from World Cup Group F with a 2-1 victory over South Korea.
Mexico's all-time leading scorer was well marshalled by South Korea's defence for much of Saturday's clash in Rostov-on-Don, but took his chance when it came in the 66th minute, slotting home in composed fashion at the culmination of a wonderful counter-attack.
Hernandez's goal was nothing less than Mexico, who beat defending champions Germany 1-0 last time out, deserved following another accomplished performance, with South Korea having rallied following Carlos Vela's 26th-minute penalty.
It was not always smooth sailing for Juan Carlos Osorio's side, though, with Lee Yong and Son Heung-min passing up presentable opportunities in the early stages.
However, Jang Hyun-soo's handball gave referee Milorad Mazic little choice but to point to the spot – the number of penalties awarded in Russia consequently surpassing the 13 across the entirety of the previous World Cup – and Vela, who announced the death of his grandfather following the win over Germany, converted.
Hernandez's strike means Mexico will progress to the last 16 if Germany fail to beat Sweden, with Son Heung-min's added-time stunner not enough to stop South Korea staring at a potential group-stage exit.
Hirving Lozano was Mexico's hero on matchday one and the winger proved his worth at the other end in the 12th minute with a superb block to deny Yong.
South Korea threatened again nine minutes later, Son breaking clear of Mexico's line before letting rip with a low drive that Hector Moreno did well to keep out.
Mexico showed their quality on the break again when Miguel Layun fired in a cross that Lozano very nearly got on the end of, but they did not have to wait much longer to take the lead.
With South Korea's defence in disarray, Jang clearly handled Andres Guardado's cross and referee Mazic did not hesitate in awarding the penalty, Vela stepping up and sending Cho Hyun-woo the wrong way.
Vela almost turned provider two minutes later with a neat ball into Layun, but the former Watford man lashed his effort over from close range.
South Korea wanted a penalty of their own after the restart when Moon Seon-min's strike clipped Carlos Salcedo's arm, but the referee correctly waved away their appeals.
Ki Sung-yueng was the next to test Mexico's resolve, stinging the palms of Guillermo Ochoa with a rasping first-time strike.
Not to be outdone, Cho was at his best soon after, South Korea's goalkeeper lunging to his right to tip Hernandez's goal-bound shot wide.
Hernandez would not be denied again, though, the West Ham striker making no mistake in drilling in his landmark goal to send the raucous Mexican crowd into raptures.
Son's sublime 20-yard strike into the top-left corner punctured Mexico's defence in the third minute of stoppage time, but it would prove little more than a consolation as South Korea slumped to a second successive defeat.
Key Opta stats:
- South Korea have lost their last four World Cup matches; their joint-worst losing run at the World Cup, also losing four between 1986 and 1990.
- In the first half, Son Heung-min had six shots (including blocked attempts) – more than South Korea managed in the entirety of their first match against Sweden.
- Javier Hernandez is only the third player to score at three different World Cups for Mexico (2010, 2014 and 2018) after Cuauhtemoc Blanco (1998, 2002 and 2010) and Rafael Marquez (2006, 2010 and 2014).
- South Korea have conceded a goal via a penalty in both of their World Cup games so far in 2018 – in their previous 29 World Cup games combined, they only conceded one penalty goal.
13 de noviembre 2018
|Thibodeau discusses Butler trade: We thought this was the best deal for us|
|Acuna, Ohtani win rookie of the year awards|
|LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’|
|Welbeck has successful second operation on broken ankle|
|UEFA warns FFP cases can be reopened based on ´new information´|
12 de noviembre 2018
|Foakes to keep England place for second Test|
|WATCH: Rooney looking sharp in England training return|
|Mbappe: Money in football is truly indecent|
|Djokovic back to brilliant best as Isner is beaten|
|Celta Vigo replace Mohamed with Cardoso after Real Madrid defeat|
|Joshua intrigued by Usyk, says Hearn|
|Ibrahimovic beats Rooney to MLS Newcomer award|
|Rams WR Kupp out for season with torn ACL|
|Sturridge denies ever gambling on football following FA charge|
|Koeman understands De Ligt´s Eredivisie frustrations|
|Jimmy Butler trade: 76ers acquire Timberwolves star in blockbuster deal|
|´Improve your attitude´ - Deschamps issues Dembele warning|
|Sturridge charged with misconduct over alleged breach of betting rules|
|Saints sign Marshall following Bryant injury|
|Mendy suffers knee injury, leaves France squad with Lacazette|
|Zverev beats Cilic in error-strewn London battle|
|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
|´One-dimensional´ Australia batsmen need work before World Cup - Finch|
|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
|Modric cannot always be the best - Dalic|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
|Rooney predicts ´exciting time´ after being named in MLS Best XI|
|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|
|Alves determined to play in the Premier League|
|Rockets GM denies Anthony will be waived|
|Monaco´s plight not Henry´s fault - Silva|
|It´s like the FBI came - River assistant unable to talk to Gallardo during final|
|Norman says Washington home crowds ´just don´t really care´|
|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
|Madrid ´very happy´ with Solari, says Butragueno|
|Titans stun Patriots, Browns upset Falcons|
|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls, Atlanta to meet in conference finals|
|Neymar wants more from perfect PSG|
|Higuain is feeling a lot of pressure – Gattuso|
|I didn´t insult anyone, says apologetic Higuain|
|Allegri delighted with Juventus response|
|Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix as Harvick, Truex qualify for Championship 4|
|WATCH: Highlights of thrilling Boca-River Copa Libertadores final|
|PSG coach Tuchel demands more despite Monaco thrashing|
|Boca missed too many chances, rues Schelotto|
|Solari remains tight-lipped on Real Madrid future|
|Hamilton not surprised by Verstappen-Ocon collision|
11 de noviembre 2018
|Ronaldo fires Juventus to Serie A record|
|Higuain did nothing serious - Ronaldo hopes Milan striker avoids ban|
|Solari completes perfect Real Madrid audition with fourth straight win|
|Verstappen ordered to do public service after Ocon scuffle|
|Nishikori stuns out-of-sorts Federer|
|Fitzgerald overtakes Owens in career receiving yards|
|Monaco 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Cavani hat-trick adds to Henry woes|