RECIFE, Brazil – Mexico surged into the World Cup’s knockout stage for a sixth-straight time Monday with a 3-1 win against 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 held 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 was kept out until the three-goal burst.
BRASILIA, Brazil – Neymar scored twice in the first half to lead Brazil, helping the hosts secure a spot in the second round.
Fred and Fernandinho added second-half goals for Brazil, which won Group A.
Neymar opened the scoring off a low cross by midfielder Luiz Gustavo in the 17th minute, deftly side-footing the ball home from close range, then restored the lead with a low right-foot strike from the top of the penalty area in the 35th after a pass by left back Marcelo.
Midfielder Joel Matip had equalized for already eliminated Cameroon with a tap-in from inside the area in the 26th.
Fred found the net in the 49th and the substitute Fernandinho struck in the 84th.