Love Story: Mexico Wins Again and Its Fans Roar for the Coach

“I think this will be a very beautiful memory in the future,” Osorio stated in Spanish via an interpreter. “But remember, football is subjective. There are many differing opinions inherent to the sport, constant changes, and many analyses only have to do with the final score. So I think the most appropriate action is to keep working. We cannot simply get carried away with our victory.”

The followers may very well be forgiven, although, for letting themselves get misplaced of their emotions.

In Mexico’s first recreation, a 1-Zero win towards Germany, Osorio orchestrated a counterpunching masterpiece of a recreation plan, serving to the Mexicans sidestep and stun their vaunted opponents. Here on Saturday night time, the Mexicans have been the ones making use of the regular strain, controlling about 60 % of the possession and withstanding 24 fouls from a South Korean staff that appeared intent on disrupting its move.


Javier Hernández exulted after scoring Mexico’s second purpose on Saturday night time.

Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

Mexico’s first purpose, which got here in the 26th minute, was the results of a hand ball name on defender Jang Hyun-soo, whose arm deflected the ball as he tried a slide sort out in entrance of South Korea’s purpose. Carlos Vela calmly struck the ensuing penalty kick to the left of goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo, sending the crowd into hysterics and large portions of beer into the air above the stands.

Mexico tallied once more in the 66th minute after forcing a midfield turnover — on a play that South Korea Coach Shin Tae-yong believed was a foul — and then finshing off a sweeping counterattack with a deft shot by Javier Hernández.

“We’ve come to Russia with a lot of criticism, but we’ve been able to challenge that,” Hernández stated via an interpreter. “We just want to forget the criticism and the dark comments. But we don’t want to pay attention to praise, either.”

In stoppage time, South Korean snatched a small comfort, a momentary thrill, when ahead Son Heung-min — the staff’s most harmful participant all through the recreation — cracked a twisting thunderbolt of a shot together with his left foot that went simply inside the far, left put up from about 25 yards.

“It’s very disappointing,” Son stated after the match. “For me, scoring goals is not important. The most important thing is the result.”


Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexico’s coach, gave his staff directions on Saturday night time.

Clive Mason/Getty Images

The celebrations amongst the Mexican gamers after the recreation felt virtually subdued, nothing like the joyful catharsis after the staff’s victory over Germany. As the remaining whistle blared, half the South Korean staff collapsed onto the grass, and a number of Mexican gamers went round slapping their shoulders, attempting to select them again up.

With one recreation to go in group play, Mexico, with six factors, is in a powerful place to advance to the spherical of 16. And South Korea, with no single level, is sort of sure to go residence.

All of that can be resolved in the group’s remaining video games on Wednesday, when Mexico performs Sweden and South Korea performs Germany. For now, the Mexican followers have been comfortable to social gathering, lingering round the stands on Saturday night time lengthy after the gamers had departed the discipline, taking photos to commemorate the second.

If the look of amorous songs of tribute for Osorio felt outstanding, so, too, did the sudden absence of one other chant — the homophobic taunt that Mexico followers have historically cried out in unison at any time when opponents take purpose kicks. Postgame fines from FIFA for use of the slur have basically turn into an on a regular basis a part of the Mexican federation’s match-day expenditures.

It was heard, for occasion, in the Mexico-Germany recreation in Moscow, and the staff once more obtained a positive of $10,000. Mexican gamers, as they’ve numerous occasions, then pleaded with their supporters, asking them to chorus from utilizing the phrase.

Only this time, their phrases have been heeded. When Jo lined up for his first purpose kick, the followers stored singing their different songs, and it went that means for each thereafter.

It is astounding, certainly, what a few wins at a World Cup and a surplus of fine vibes can do to a staff and its fan base.

Here’s how Mexico defeated South Korea:

92’: GOAL!! South Korea

Well! South Korea will get one again, and Son Heung-Min will get his World Cup spotlight. He curls a fully stunning shot from the prime of the penalty space on the proper facet previous Ochoa, who didn’t have an opportunity to get a hand on it. Mexico has about 90 seconds of drama to make keep away from what can be a disastrous draw.

91’: Five More Minutes

Five minutes of stoppage time for Mexico to shut this out. Shouldn’t be too laborious with the means they’ve been capable of management this recreation.

89’: Time Running Out for South Korea

Son Heung-Min appears to be like very a lot a defeated man after flubbing an open shot from 20 yards, sending it nicely excessive of the purpose.

81’: Game Plan for Mexico in Final Minutes

Mexico’s greatest process for the final 10 minutes or so may be avoiding a foolish damage or yellow card. The South Koreans are annoyed, and Jung Woo-Young will get a yellow card for catching Hernandez with an elbow.

79’: Mexico Substitutions

Mexico makes its final change of the night time, bringing on Giovani Dos Santos for Vela. Jesus Corona got here on for Lozano earlier, and Marquez changed Guardado.

75’: South Korea Chance

Mexico could also be up by 2, however they’re nonetheless defending like their life is dependent upon it. A horrible move again to Ochoa by Rafa Marquez results in a golden alternative for Son, however Marquez will get again to assist break it up and protect Ochoa’s shutout.

72’: Yellow Card

Lee Seung-Woo unleashes a little bit South Korean frustration on Layun, incomes a yellow card after he clears out Layun’s legs on a counter assault down the proper facet. This may get a giant chippy in the final 20 minutes.


Javier Hernandez buries one for Mexico, and they’re nicely on their approach to reserving a ticket to the knockout part! Chucky Lozano is once more the orchestrator. Hector Herrera dislodged the ball from South Korea in Mexico’s half, then Lozano collected it and carried all of it the approach to South Korea’s space. A easy dish-off to Hernandez on the proper facet, and Hernandez slid it in for his 50th worldwide purpose.

64’: Substitution for South Korea

South Korea makes its first change: Ju Se-Jong is off for 20-year-old Lee Seung-Woo.

63’: Second Half Has Been Wide Open

The second half has been rather more large open. Ochoa makes a powerful save for Mexico on a harmful shot from inside the space, then a right away Mexican counter finds Carlos Vela on the proper facet of the South Korea field, nevertheless it curls a bit excessive.

58’: Another Big Save on Other End!

Well, Jo Hyeon-Woo decides to completely one-up Ochoa on the different finish. Guardado turns and places a shot towards the higher left nook, however Jo makes a flying save to push it large.

56’: Big Save!

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa comes up large, getting each palms in entrance of a laser from Ki Sung-Yueng from the left facet of the space.

53’: Hand Ball?

Mexico narrowly escapes returning the favor with a penalty kick. Moon Seon-Min acquired the ball close to the six-yard field and acquired an off-balance shot off, however Carlos Salcedo was in the means. It first appeared that the ball might need caught Salcedo’s hand, however replays confirmed it was his chest.

52’: Mexico Comes Out Strong

A pair possibilities for Mexico, however each fly nicely over the purpose. Lozano takes a tough shot from the left facet off a feed from Vela, then a minute later Hernandez has a go from additional out that additionally flies excessive.

46’: Second Half Kicks Off

The second half is underway. South Korea wants a purpose to keep away from a devastating second straight loss in the group stage.

Some Halftime Reading

Until May, Mexico didn’t have accent marks with gamers’ names on the again of its jerseys. Behind the successful #PonleAcento push was a New York Times editor.


Mexico’s Carlos Vela, left, scored the first purpose of the match towards South Korea on Saturday.

Damir Sagolj/Reuters


South Korea briefly put collectively a sustained assault for a couple of minutes at the finish of the first half, nevertheless it was all Mexico in any other case. The Mexican squad’s velocity and ball management stored South Korea pinned again for a lot of the first half, nevertheless it took a lucky handball name for Mexico to seek out the internet. If South Korea is to get again into this one, it’ll in all probability be via Son Heung-Min, who gave the Mexico protection matches the couple occasions he acquired the ball of their finish.

45’: South Korea Stopped Again

Another alternative for Son, one other block for Mexico. He has a go from the prime of Mexico’s penalty space, however Salcedo will get in the means and deflects it over the bar.

43’: Stats Say Mexico is Dominating

The stats won’t at all times inform the entire story, however they’re fairly instructive on this one: 72 % of the possession has been Mexico’s, and South Korea has 11 fouls to Mexico’s 4. South Korea seems to be hoping for stout defending and a lucky counter.

39’: South Korea’s Counter Attacks

South Korea’s solely threatening moments have come on counter assaults that discover Son Heung-Min. He will get one other alternative on a protracted ball out of South Korea’s half, working onto it close to the Mexico space, however his first contact his too sturdy and he can’t do something with it.

31’: South Korea Seeking Equalizer

Son Heung-Min unleashes an impressive-looking free kick from about 30 yards out in the middle of the discipline, however his well-struck shot flies simply excessive.

27’: Another Chance for Mexico

Mexico appears to be like able to put in one other one instantly. Vela performs an ideal ball throughout the prime of the space to Layun, however Layun’s wide-open shot goes simply over the bar.

25’: Goal Mexico!

A handball in the space offers Mexico a penalty kick, and Carlos Vela buries it and offers Mexico the early lead! Jang Hyun-Soo was the perpetrator for South Korea — he slid in to attempt to cease Guardado close to the finish line, however Guardado’s cross caught him on the arm and the ref blew his whistle for a penalty.

21’: Another Chance for South Korea!

Song Heung-Min, South Korea’s most harmful participant, receives a protracted ball and has a break on purpose, however Carlos Salcedo will get again to dam the shot, crucially.


Mexico’s Hector Moreno and South Korea’s Son Heung-min in motion on Saturday.

Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

14’: South Korea Chance

South Korea will get its first alternative, and it’s a daunting one for Mexico. Hwang Hee-Chan will get to the finish line and floats a ball to the again put up, however Chucky Lozano flies in to interrupt it up and stop Lee Yong from getting a foot on it. Lozano, the goal-scorer in Mexico’s win over Germany, has tracked again for a pair good defensive performs already immediately.

10’: Mexico Dominating Possession

Through the first 10 minutes: 72 %, in response to ESPN. They’ve earned a pair set items in South Korea’s half, together with a nook kick simply now, however none have been notably threatening.

four’: Early Chance for Mexico

Mexico will get an early alternative with a free kick from about 35 yards out on the left facet, however Layun’s free kick is well headed away.

2’: Lineup Changes

Mexico made one change to its beginning lineup: Hugo Ayala, who began final recreation at centerback, is on the bench. Carlos Salcedo, a proper again towards Germany, slides into the center to take his place, and Edson Alvarez will get into the lineup to play on the proper.

1’: We’re Underway!

Mexico in white, and South Korea in pink.

Weather Report: It’s Hot

Andrew Keh: It’s about 93 levels proper now in Rostov-on-Don, with an entire bunch of humidity, the sort of climate that makes you sweat simply by sitting in it. I’m in the outside press seating space proper now, the place my fellow journalists are all aggressively wiping the perspiration from their foreheads.

South Korea Coach Shin Tae-yong stated earlier than the recreation that the climate may very well be “a deciding factor,” one which he oddly appeared to concede to Mexico: “I think that the weather will work in favor of the Mexican team because they are used to the heat,” Shin stated, earlier than including about his personal squad: “I think the weather will impact us negatively.”



13 Guillermo Ochoa

15 Héctor Moreno

three Carlos Salcedo

23 Jesús Gallardo

21 Edson Álvarez

11 Carlos Vela

18 Andrés Guardado

16 Héctor Herrera

14 Javier Hernández

22 Hirving Lozano

7 Miguel Layún

South Korea:

23 Jo Hyeon-Woo

19 Kim Young-Gwon

20 Jang Hyun-Soo

12 Kim Min-Woo

2 Lee Yong

16 Ki Sung-Yueng

eight Ju Se-Jong

17 Lee Jae-Sung

18 Moon Seon-Min

7 Son Heung-Min

11 Hwang Hee-Chan

Mexico vs. South Korea Top Story Lines

• Mexico’s lineup: Under Manager Juan Carlos Osorio, Mexico has used 49 totally different lineups in 49 totally different video games. After such a formidable efficiency towards Germany, how a lot will Osorio be keen to tinker together with his beginning XI?

• Coming off its thrilling opener (it caused an earthquake, in any case), one in all Mexico’s greatest threats could also be complacency. Osorio addressed it in a pregame information convention on Friday: “We talked about how to not fall into the comfort zone and rest on our laurels,” he instructed reporters at a information convention. “This week we’ve talked about the matter, we’ve checked out two or three conditions and emphasised what we did proper towards Germany.

• Did Mexico get sufficient sleep? It needed to despatched its captain, Rafa Marquez, out to deal with raucous followers in entrance of its resort Friday night time to thank them but also make a small request: Please, let the gamers relaxation.

• South Korea wants Son Heung-min to provide you with a significantly better efficiency than he may muster towards Sweden. In a facet that appeared to lack concepts, he has the potential to be a difference-maker on offense.


Video Review at the World Cup Is Resulting in More Goals From Penalty Kicks

The video-assistant-referee system has led to a higher percentage of penalty-kick goals than in each previous tournament.

OPEN Graphic

Some Pregame Reading

• The Mexican federation and a few of its gamers, together with Chicharito, took to social media to ask fans to stop using a homophobic chant in the stadium. FIFA fined the federation for the followers’ chant in its opening recreation towards Germany.

Meet Iceland’s “Ruligans” — the polite-but-passionate fan group that has grown from a couple of outliers in plastic Viking helmets right into a singing, thunder-clapping pressure.

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