Mexico defeats Croatia 3-1 to claim second place

MGN Online

El Tri faces Netherlands in knockout phase

Monday, June 23, 2014 - 11:17pm

El Tri had threatened to usurp the host nation at the top of the table after putting Croatia to the sword in Recife.

After a goalless first half, Rafael Marquez, the first man to captain his country at four World Cups, headed Mexico in front with 18 minutes remaining.

Andres Guardado rounded off a slick counter attack soon after to double his side's advantage before Manchester United star Javier Hernandez added a third.

It was a just reward for Mexico, which hit the crossbar in the first half and was denied what appeared to be a blatant penalty with the game still goalless.

Croatia, which could have qualified with a victory, pulled a goal back through Ivan Perisic but was then reduced to 10 men when Ante Rebic was sent off.

Mexico will now face a Dutch side which won all three of its group games and reached the final in South Africa four years ago.

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