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Carlos Vela plays 90, Mexico lose, but South Korea save El Tri’s World Cup

What a finish after a bad performance.

Mexico v Sweden: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Mexico laid an egg on Wednesday, conceding three goals in truly bad fashion in the second half to lose 3-0 to Sweden in their final Group F game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Ekaterinburg.

Carlos Vela played the full 90 for El Tri, shot a bunch of times and came kind of close to scoring on his trademark curler a couple times, but after playing tentative and tight in the first half, albeit to a favorable 0-0 scoreline to book passage to the Round of 16, the wheels fell off in the second half and the whole team played badly.

Remarkably, in spite of winning two of three group stage games, with Sweden’s big win, had Germany won over South Korea, Mexico would have been out of the World Cup altogether. When the third goal went in, off a Mexico own goal, it felt like the unthinkable was about to happen and El Tri were not even going to reach a fourth game in the World Cup, despite beating Germany to kick off the tournament.

But then, South Korea became Mexico’s savior, as they scored twice in second-half stoppage time, courtesy of Kim Young-gwon and Son Heung-min on an empty-netter with Manuel Neuer playing up top in desperation, to give South Korea a 2-0 win over Germany. The results mean Germany are going home early, the first time that’s happened since the 1950s, and Mexico survive their bad performance to advance.

Now, Juan Carlos Osorio and his team will need to regroup ahead of their Round of 16 game, against a to be determined opponent on Monday. While some Los Angeles Football Club fans may have wanted Vela to come home early, I feel like most of us want to see him really shine, and here’s hoping he and El Tri can advance to their El Dorado of a fifth game next week.

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