Mexico march into the second round

01:58, Jun 24 2014
Fred dive
Another view of the controversy foul on Fred.
Fred dive
Fred goes down. The call was Croatia's Dejan Lovren fouled him, and the resultant penalty put Brazil up 2-1 and turned the match.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring a goal from a penalty kick from the Fred foul.
Brazil v Croatia
Croatia's goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa fails to save the penalty.
Brazil v Croatia
Ivan Perisic of Croatia celebrates going 1-0 up as Brazil's Marcelo gets a deflection into the net for an own goal.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Marcelo opens the scoring for the tournament - unfortunately it was an own goal.
Neymar
Neymar, second from left, celebrates with Dani Alves and Fred after his first goal.
Neymar
Hero of the day Neymar celebrates his first goal.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos is irate after a goal is disallowed for the second time against Cameroon.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos finds the back of the net, only for the goal to be disallowed.
Oribe Peralta
Mexico's Oribe Peralta heads the ball down under attention from Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou.
Miguel Herrara
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera appeals to the fourth official Norbert Hauata after their first goal is disallowed.
Alex Song
Cameroon's Alex Song holds off Mexico's Jose Juan Vazquez.
Oribe Peralta
Oribe Peralta 61st-minute shot off a rebound proved the difference against Cameroon.
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil beats Javier Hernandez of Mexico during their World Cup clash at Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Rafael Marquez, left, fights for the ball with Brazil's David Luiz during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match.
Francisco Rodriguez
Brazil's Neymar holds the net after a failed attempt at the goal, as Mexico's Francisco Rodriguez smiles, during their World Cup football clash.
Paul Aguilar
Brazil's Neymar (right) fights for the ball with Mexico's Paul Aguilar during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Neymar
Brazil's Neymar reacts during his side's 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mexico gallery
Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa receives a hug from teammate Paul Aguilar at the end of his side's 0-0 draw with Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Group A match against Cameroon at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Dany Nounkeu
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (left) fights for the ball with Cameroon's Dany Nounkeu during their World Cup Group A football clash.
Ivan Perisic
Ivan Perisic of Croatia (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal against Cameroon.
Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren of Croatia challenges Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon during their World Cup clash at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Alexandre Song
Referee Pedro Proenca of Portugal sends off Cameroon's Alexandre Song for a challenge on Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (on ground) during their World Cup match.
Benjamin Moukandjo
Benjamin Moukandjo of Cameroon controls the ball against Danijel Pranjic of Croatia during their Group A World Cup clash.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Julio Cesar (far left), Fernandinho and Luiz Gustavo of Brazil react after defeating Cameroon 4-1 during their Group A match against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Julio Cesar
Brazil's Fernandinho (right) shoots to score past Cameroon's Nicolas Nkoulou.
Fred
Brazil's Fred (right) celebrates his goal against Cameroon with teammates Neymar (second right) and Daniel Alves (left).
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil (left) celebrates his team's third goal, scored by Fred, during the Group A World Cup clash between Cameroon and Brazil at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Ante Rebic
Ante Rebic of Croatia walks off the pitch after receiving a red card during his side's loss to Mexico at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.
Andres Guardado
Mexico's Andres Guardado (top) jumps over Croatia's Danijel Pranjic during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife.
Ravshan Irmatov
Referee Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan stands between Mexico's Andres Guardado (left) and Croatia's Darijo Srna during their World Cup Group A football match at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Niko Kovac
Croatia's coach Niko Kovac speaks with Mario Mandzukic after being defeated by Mexico.
Javier Hernandez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring a goal against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates teammate Rafael Marquez's goal against Croatia during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife June 23, 2014.

Mexico surged into the World Cup's knockout stage for a sixth straight time this morning with a 3-1 win over Croatia. 

Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado and Javier ''Chicharito'' Hernandez scored in a 10-minute span in the second half, dooming a talented Croatia side to elimination from the group stage. 

The Croats had to win to advance and had the bulk of possession, but had trouble seriously threatening goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who kept out all efforts until an 87th-minute consolation goal from Ivan Perisic. 

Mexico entered the game needing only a draw, and looked dangerous in attack, but were kept out until the three-goal burst.

 Marquez struck first, beating Croatia defender Vedran Corluka to head home Hector Herrera's corner kick in the 72nd minute. Three minutes later, Guardado found the net with a hard, left-footed, first-time shot after a cross from Oribe Peralta. 

Then in the 82nd minute, Hernandez, the popular Manchester United striker who has been a second-half substitute in all three of Mexico's matches, scored with a header after Herrera's corner had glanced off the head of Marquez.    

Croatia didn't score until it was too late, with Perisic sliding a shot past Ochoa after being set up by a neat backheel pass from Ivan Rakitic. It was the first goal Mexico has conceded in the World Cup, but ''El Tri'' hardly seemed to mind when the final whistle sounded and a lively, heavily Mexican crowd in Arena Pernambuco erupted. 

Mexico appeared to be laboring through a downspell before this World Cup. They struggled to qualify out of CONCACAF and fired three coaches in a year's time before Miguel Herrera took over and ultimately rescued Mexico's hopes by soundly beating New Zealand in a last-chance qualifier. 

In the hours leading up to the match, Miguel Herrera, known as a coach of the people for the way he engages fans on social media and at times in public, implored the Mexico faithful to ''stay together'' and sing the national anthem ''like never before.''

 Mexican fans, whose green jerseys distinguished them as the overwhelming majority in the crowd, did not disappoint, belting out a thunderous rendition.

 Croatia had expected to play before a crowd heavily in Mexico's favour, with star Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric saying on the eve of the match that the game would not be won in the stands, and that his side was motivated to silence the crowd. 

Croatia players were heckled each time they took a corner kick, and goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa was heckled whenever he touched the ball. Mexico's attacking play also enlivened the crowd, particularly a sizzling 25-yard shot by Hector Herrera that rattled the crossbar in the 16th minute. 

In the 19th minute, Oribe Peralta pounced on a bounding ball from Herrera in the penalty area, but his sliding attempt to chip over the advancing Pletikosa went wide.
 Croatia enjoyed the bulk of possession in the opening 45 minutes, but didn't force Ochoa to make a single save. 

MATCH COMMENTARY 

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Rafa Marquez
ON TARGET: Mexico defender Rafa Marquez wheels away after scoring his country's opener in their 3-1 win over Croatia.

AP