Sweden thumped Mexico 3-0 on Wednesday, overcoming their opponents after a scoreless first half in a result that means both teams advance to the World Cup last 16 at the expense of defending champions Germany.
However, if Sweden beats Mexico 2-1 and Germany beats Korea 1-0, Sweden would go through as the group victor with Mexico and Germany deadlocked and El Tri moving through thanks to their head-to-head win over the reigning champion. Mexico has been to the round of 16 for seven straight World Cups.
With Sweden having topped the group, Mexico will now face Brazil in a mouthwatering second round match-up. Mexico just need a draw to qualify but will be desperate for a moral boosting third win on the bounce.
Sweden must win in order to make sure of a second round spot. Their team - lacking the individual quality of reigning champions Germany and Mexico - were tipped to say farewell to the tournament before the knockout round.
With 15 minutes remaining, Sweden sealed the result as a contest as Edson Alvarez deflected the ball into his own net. Augustinsson scored when the ball luckily landed in his path following a mistimed shot from Viktor Claesson popped up to his teammate.
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"I think we deserved to win the group, and Mexico deserved to be second". The Germans came into the match knowing that a win by two goals would have been enough to advance.
Sweden have moved on from the off-field issues that dominated the headlines after their defeat by Germany and are determined to beat Mexico for a place in the last 16, coach Janne Andersson said on Tuesday. "We don't need to look at who's not there, we need to look at who will be able to play". "This is the World Cup".
Mexico survived a penalty scare as the referee stopped the game to review VAR, then refused to revise his initial judgment. Mexico will play winners of that group in Samara on Monday afternoon.
Within the first 15 seconds Mexico had Jesus Gallardo booked for an aerial challenge (the fastest yellow card in history) and from that set piece Marcus Berg won the header but Granqvist couldn't quite connect inside the six yard box. The Swedes stayed crisp in their exchanges on offense and it helped them find seams in El Tri's defense. But its aggressive style also bit them, opening up some counterstrike chances for Sweden, which it took advantage of. In case of a draw or a loss, their chances will depend on whether South Korea manage to beat Germany in the other Group F match.