Sweden hammer Mexico, both teams make last 16

Sweden hammer Mexico, both teams make last 16

Having dominated the first half, Sweden went ahead with a fortuitous goal in the 51st minute when Viktor Claesson completely mis-kicked his shot but the ball flew straight to Ludwig Augustinsson who fired past Guillermo Ochoa.

Sweden opened the scoring five minutes after the break thanks to Augustinsson's first global goal.

The drama kept on coming as Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez looked to have handled the ball in the box and referee Nestor Pitana used VAR to check the incident but stuck with his initial decision of no penalty.

Mexican fans, both at the stadium in Ekaterinburg and back home, endured a highly anxious last few minutes of the match as attention turned to the result of the group's other final match, which was played simultaneously between defending champions Germany and South Korea.

Mexico also advanced to the knockout stage as runners-up thanks to Germany's shock defeat 2-0 to South Korea, reported Xinhua news agency.

Germany was shocked in its opening match in Russian Federation by losing to Mexico, and the squad needed a goal in stoppage time from Toni Kross to pull out a 2-1 victory over Sweden.

"I'm so incredibly proud, moved nearly, by the thought of how we performed in the match".

Sweden lost to a last-minute goal against 10-man Germany at the weekend, leaving them needing to better the champions' result on Wednesday, and against most expectations a goal rush from the Swedes transformed the group order.

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"We showed that we can match the reigning champions nearly all the way to the end and that strengthens the self-confidence".

It allowed Sweden to relax and they doubled their lead after 62 minutes through Granqvist's second spot-kick of the tournament.

Switzerland finished the group stage with five points, two behind Brazil, and will play Group F victor Sweden on Tuesday.

Juan Carlos Osorio's side, so brilliant in two previous wins over Germany and South Korea, should have at least a goal from their underwhelming performance but for woeful Vela header in the closing stages.

"For the first time in many, many games when we play against a team that play that approach, direct football, we had this formation".

At the interval, with the game also goalless in Kazan, Mexico and Germany were going through. Mexico just need a draw to qualify but will be desperate for a moral boosting third win on the bounce. Once again the players have been highlighting the importance and value of the strong unity within the group.

That left Mexico in a perilous position, as a late German victor would have sent them crashing out, but two injury-time South Korean goals ensured Osorio's men edged through as runners-up.

"We've done a fantastic job today with this match", he said.

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