Mexico booked a last-16 tie against the Netherlands after knocking Croatia out of the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

The Croats, who knew a win would put them through, survived a scare when a Hector Herrera strike hit the crossbar.

But Rafael Marquez headed in for Mexico before Andres Guardado drove in a shot and Javier Hernandez nodded home to put them 3-0 up.

Analysis

"Mexico deserve this because they have shown ambition. Croatia have technical players but they just didn't turn up, Luka Modric got nowhere near the game. It was a really disappointing performance from Croatia; no real intensity, no real desire."

Ivan Perisic scored for Croatia, whose misery was compounded when Ante Rebic was sent off late on.

It was an accomplished display from the North Americans, who nullified Croatia's threat before imposing their authority on the Group A game.

A draw would have been enough for Mexico, but they made sure of a seventh knockout stage appearance in the last eight tournaments with a victory.

In contrast, Croatia crumbled in the latter stages and have now been eliminated at the group stage in four of their last five major tournaments.

Croatia playmaker Luka Modric had claimed Mexico benefited from a "great deal of luck" in their draw with hosts Brazil, but it was the Real Madrid midfielder's side who enjoyed the early fortune at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

Following Mexican defender Paul Aguilar's last-ditch header to stop striker Mario Mandzukic nodding in, the Aztecs went up the other end and twice went close.

Midfielder Herrera let fly from 25 yards and was only denied when his left-foot strike came crashing back off the crossbar, while team-mate Oribe Peralta was played through only to mis-time his effort and shoot wide.

Croatia's threat was being contained and one of the rare opportunities that came their way involved Perisic latching onto a knockdown and shooting wide.

Key facts

  • Mexico have now won eight of their 31 World Cup games against European opposition (26%)
  • Croatia have never won their final group game at a World Cup (D1 L3)

Niko Kovac's side had to take more risks the longer the game progressed and, despite showing more urgency after the break, Mexico comfortably quelled them.

Kovac brought on midfielder Mateo Kovacic for defender Sime Vrsaljko as he tried to improve his side's chances of scoring but it was Mexico who made the breakthrough.

Just moments after they had a penalty claim waved away following Srna's hands blocking a shot from Guardado, Mexico took the lead when Marquez powered in a header from a corner.

Shortly afterwards, Oribe Peralta set up Guardado to fire a shot high into the net and double the advantage.

Then Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez ended his 11-game goal drought when he nodded in at the far post after a Marquez flick-on to put Mexico out of reach.

Perisic drove in a low effort as Mexico conceded their first goal of the finals but it was little more than a consolation as Croatia's Rebic was dismissed for a crude challenge on Carlos Pena.

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera:

"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."

Croatia coach Niko Kovac:

"It's a moot point whether we should have kept it 0-0 until the last 10 minutes and then go all out on the attack. We decided to attack earlier, but it wasn't successful.

"We kept the game open for a long time, but two corners decided the game.

"We weren't bad but the opponent was better."

Mexico captain Rafael Marquez gives his side the lead against Croatia

Rafael Marquez has scored for Mexico in each of the last three World Cups

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez celebrates scoring against Croatia

Each of Mexico's last eight goals at the World Cup have arrived in the second half

Mexico manager Miguel Herrera shows his delight after his side score against Croatia

Mexico won their final group game at a World Cup for the first time since 1986

Croatia playmaker Luka Modric (left) and manager Niko Kovac

Croatia conceded more than one goal against Mexico for the first time in their history

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Croatia

  • 01 Pletikosa
  • 11 Srna
  • 02 Vrsaljko (Kovacic - 58' )
  • 03 Pranjic (Jelavic - 74' )
  • 05 Corluka
  • 06 Lovren
  • 04 Perisic
  • 07 Rakitic Booked
  • 17 Mandzukic
  • 10 Modric
  • 18 Olic (Rebic - 69' Dismissed )

Substitutes

  • 08 Vukojevic
  • 09 Jelavic
  • 12 Zelenika
  • 13 Schildenfeld
  • 14 Brozovic
  • 15 Badelj
  • 16 Rebic
  • 19 Cruz Campos
  • 20 Kovacic
  • 21 Vida
  • 22 Eduardo
  • 23 Subasic

Mexico

  • 13 Ochoa
  • 22 Aguilar
  • 07 Layún
  • 15 Moreno
  • 04 Márquez Booked
  • 02 Rodríguez
  • 06 Herrera
  • 23 Vázquez Booked
  • 19 Peralta (Peña - 79' )
  • 10 dos Santos (Hernández - 62' )
  • 18 Guardado (Fabián - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Corona
  • 03 Salcido
  • 05 Reyes
  • 08 Fabián
  • 09 Jiménez
  • 11 Pulido
  • 12 Talavera
  • 14 Hernández
  • 16 Ponce
  • 17 Brizuela
  • 20 Aquino
  • 21 Peña
Ref: Ravshan Irmatov
Att: 41,212

Match Stats

Shots

10 11

On target

3 4

Corners

7 9

Fouls

17 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Croatia 1, Mexico 3.

90:00 +4:20 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Croatia 1, Mexico 3.

90:00 +2:39

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Croatia).

90:00 +2:39

Javier Hernández (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:49

Offside, Croatia. Ivan Perisic tries a through ball, but Mario Mandzukic is caught offside.

90:00 +0:48

Attempt saved. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic with a cross.

88:24 Dismissal

Dismissal Ante Rebic (Croatia) is shown the red card.

88:21

Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia).

88:21

Carlos Peña (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:19

Foul by Nikica Jelavic (Croatia).

87:19

Rafael Márquez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Croatia 1, Mexico 3. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic.

85:14

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Carlos Peña.

84:27

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Héctor Moreno.

84:14

Attempt blocked. Marco Fabián (Mexico) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

83:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Mexico. Marco Fabián replaces Andrés Guardado.

83:06

Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia).

83:06

Javier Hernández (Mexico) wins a free kick on the right wing.

81:23 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Croatia 0, Mexico 3. Javier Hernández (Mexico) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rafael Márquez with a headed pass following a corner.

80:42

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

79:03

Offside, Mexico. Guillermo Ochoa tries a through ball, but Javier Hernández is caught offside.

78:51 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Mexico. Carlos Peña replaces Oribe Peralta.

77:53

Foul by Nikica Jelavic (Croatia).

77:53

Rafael Márquez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:37

Attempt blocked. Ante Rebic (Croatia) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

74:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Croatia 0, Mexico 2. Andrés Guardado (Mexico) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Oribe Peralta.

73:52 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Nikica Jelavic replaces Danijel Pranjic.

72:31

Dejan Lovren (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:31

Foul by Oribe Peralta (Mexico).

71:06 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Croatia 0, Mexico 1. Rafael Márquez (Mexico) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Héctor Herrera with a cross following a corner.

70:29

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Vedran Corluka.

68:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Ante Rebic replaces Ivica Olic.

68:13

Foul by Ivica Olic (Croatia).

68:13

Héctor Herrera (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:51

Attempt saved. Paul Aguilar (Mexico) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Héctor Herrera.

65:00 Booking

Booking José Juan Vázquez (Mexico) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

64:55

Mateo Kovacic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:55

Foul by José Juan Vázquez (Mexico).

63:35

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

63:33

Attempt blocked. Andrés Guardado (Mexico) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Paul Aguilar with a cross.

62:04

Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:04

Foul by Héctor Herrera (Mexico).

61:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Mexico. Javier Hernández replaces Giovani dos Santos.

60:40

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Vedran Corluka.

59:25

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Croatia).

59:25

Oribe Peralta (Mexico) wins a free kick on the right wing.

58:23

Foul by Ivica Olic (Croatia).

58:23

Héctor Moreno (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Croatia. Mateo Kovacic replaces Sime Vrsaljko.

56:47

Attempt missed. Oribe Peralta (Mexico) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Andrés Guardado with a cross following a corner.

56:11

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

55:36

Attempt missed. Paul Aguilar (Mexico) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right misses to the left.

53:09

Vedran Corluka (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:09

Foul by Giovani dos Santos (Mexico).

48:31

Foul by Ivica Olic (Croatia).

48:31

Miguel Layún (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:58

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Francisco Javier Rodríguez.

47:32

Attempt blocked. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ivica Olic with a headed pass.

46:37

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

46:37

Foul by José Juan Vázquez (Mexico).

45:47

Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia).

45:47

Héctor Herrera (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:21

Foul by Mario Mandzukic (Croatia).

45:21

Paul Aguilar (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Croatia 0, Mexico 0.

45:00 +2:27 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Croatia 0, Mexico 0.

45:00 +1:44

Foul by Vedran Corluka (Croatia).

45:00 +1:44

Paul Aguilar (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +1:15

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Oribe Peralta.

45:00 +0:09

Darijo Srna (Croatia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +0:09

Foul by Andrés Guardado (Mexico).

44:31

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:31

Foul by Héctor Herrera (Mexico).

41:09

Stipe Pletikosa (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:09

Foul by Héctor Moreno (Mexico).

40:31

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Vedran Corluka.

40:27

Attempt blocked. Miguel Layún (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by José Juan Vázquez.

39:25

Attempt missed. Darijo Srna (Croatia) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

38:13 Booking

Booking Rafael Márquez (Mexico) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

38:08

Ivan Perisic (Croatia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:08

Foul by Rafael Márquez (Mexico).

37:34

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Danijel Pranjic.

36:51

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Danijel Pranjic.

35:36

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Darijo Srna.

34:25

Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia).

34:25

Giovani dos Santos (Mexico) wins a free kick on the right wing.

32:09

Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia).

32:09

Héctor Herrera (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:28

Attempt missed. José Juan Vázquez (Mexico) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Héctor Herrera.

29:56

Foul by Luka Modric (Croatia).

29:56

Andrés Guardado (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

28:43

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Mario Mandzukic with a headed pass.

26:49

Attempt missed. Danijel Pranjic (Croatia) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

22:53

Attempt blocked. Ivica Olic (Croatia) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Perisic.

15:14

Héctor Herrera (Mexico) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Oribe Peralta.

13:55

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) header from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Darijo Srna with a cross.

12:42

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Rafael Márquez.

10:20

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

9:45

Delay in match Luka Modric (Croatia) because of an injury.

9:20

Luka Modric (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:20

Foul by Rafael Márquez (Mexico).

8:13 Booking

Booking Ivan Rakitic (Croatia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

8:10

Foul by Ivan Rakitic (Croatia).

8:10

José Juan Vázquez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

7:43

Foul by Darijo Srna (Croatia).

7:43

Miguel Layún (Mexico) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:39

Attempt missed. Ivan Perisic (Croatia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic with a cross following a corner.

6:02

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Andrés Guardado.

4:24

Corner, Croatia. Conceded by Héctor Moreno.

3:01

Foul by Oribe Peralta (Mexico).

3:01

Vedran Corluka (Croatia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers