Group F: South Korea v Mexico - soccer world cup Preview

Two players compete for ball

South Korea and Mexico will clash in the second round of matches in group F. 

Mexico have been the talk of the soccer world cup after their shocking victory over reigning champions Germany. The North Americans upset the defending champions 1-0, ensuring Germany's first soccer world cup opening defeat since 1982. A win here could earn the Mexicans a spot in the Last 16 after South Korea lost to Sweden. 

To Win (90 Mins)
South Korea 47/10
Draw 5/2
Mexico 13/20

South Korea vs Mexico | Saturday 23 June | Rostov Arena (17:00)

South Korea
South Korea lost 1-0 to Sweden in their opening game of the soccer world cup on Monday, a result that leaves Shin Tae-Yong’s men facing an uphill task to reach the knockout stage. 

Son Heung Min of Tottenham Hotspur posed the main threat for South Korea, who had Park Joo-ho taken off after he appeared to have pulled a muscle in the 27th minute. 

In the 66th minute, Kim Min-Woo brought down Viktor Claesson in the box. There was no immediate whistle despite the huge appeals from Swedish players, a video review was called and a penalty was awarded which went on to cost South Korea.

The Asian team had been mostly relying on counter attacks before the goal, but their game plan changed in pursuit of the equalizer as they picked up the pace and got the ball into dangerous areas a few times. 

South Korea are winless in their last two meetings against Mexico and they will have to pull off a five star performance to beat the North Americans who looked solid against the defending champions. 

Mexico
Mexico pulled off a soccer world cup upset, stunning the defending champions Germany in their opening match. Hirving Lozano's strike in the 35th minute was enough to secure the 1-0 win for the Mexicans, despite the Germans dominating possession and fighting desperately to get back into the match.

Guillermo Ochoa, the Mexican goalkeeper was again the hero for the North Americans, pulling off some fine saves to keep his team in the game. The most notable save was palming Toni Kroos' shot onto the crossbar.

Mexico pulled back into a more defensive formation midway through the second half as key players got tired and had to withstand heavy pressure from Germany. That allowed a few counter attacks for the Mexicans which could’ve made the score worse for the Germans, but they were wasteful in the final third. 

Despite missing some good chances, Mexico will be full of confidence in this match and they know a win here might secure their place in the Last 16 for the seventh successive time. Topping Group F could mean avoiding tournament favourites Brazil in the Round of 16. 

Verdict: Mexico Win (13/20)
Mexico played the game of their lives against Germany in the first match and they will be full of confidence against an injury-struck South Korea team. Hirving Lozano was the shining star and I back him to lead his team once again. 

Written by Banele Pikwa

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