Mexico manager Miguel Herrera was delighted after his side booked their place in the knockout stages of the World Cup with victory over Croatia in Recife, Sky
El Tri were the better side throughout, limiting Croatia to very few chances while looking dangerous on the counter attack. The closest they came in the first half was when Hector Herrera’s long range shot hit the underside of the crossbar.
They finally took the lead with 20 minutes left when long-serving captain Rafael Marquez headed home from a corner. That was the first of three goals in a 10-minute spell as Andres Guardado found the roof of the net and Javier Hernandez nodded in from close range.
Croatia grabbed a consolation when Ivan Perisic slid past Francisco Guillermo Ochoa, before they had Ante Rebic sent off for a late challenge. The 3-1 victory for Mexico means they take on Group B winners the Netherlands in their second round match on Sunday evening.
And after the game, Herrera said: “We overcame the first hurdle. We’re happy. That is one of the happiest days of my life. It was a hard fight, but my team pulled through. We felt as if we were playing at home in Mexico. We’re going to celebrate tonight but tomorrow we have to start thinking of our match with the Netherlands.”