No Ibrahimovic, no problem for Sweden as last 16 beckons

No Ibrahimovic, no problem for Sweden as last 16 beckons

No Ibrahimovic, no problem for Sweden as last 16 beckons

Mexico just need a draw to qualify but will be desperate for a moral boosting third win on the bounce.

Ludwig Augustinsson's strike, Andreas Granqvist's penalty and Edson Alvarez's clumsy own goal gave Sweden a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Mexico.

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But while Mexico's fans and players had an anxious wait, the full-time whistle prompted raucous celebrations from Sweden's players who can look forward to a knockout clash in St Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon.

Sweden and Mexico will learn on Wednesday evening which of Brazil, Serbia or Switzerland they will face from Group E in the last 16.

Both teams took the pitch, as they both knew a victory would entitle them to win the group and play a potentially weaker opponent in the knock out stage.

Sweden's Marcus Berg reacts in pain after suffering a penalty from Mexico's Hector Moreno, left, during the group F match between Mexico and Sweden, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

He said those already playing in Europe - including Hernandez and winger Hirving Lozano - were showing great form at the World Cup.


A draw in that match would have been enough for Mexico to advance but with the score locked at 0-0 until injury time started, there were fears that the Germans could score a late goal and edge Mexico out of the tournament due to a superior goal difference.

Sweden manager Janne Andersson. "That match made us stronger, more confident. We showed that we were able to play against the defending champions all the way with the exception of the final few minutes". Two groups in the United States finished with three teams on six points, but that was before the tournament expanded to eight groups.

Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa handled outside the box and then flapped at the resulting free-kick.

"We hadn't done any sort of mathematical calculations", Ochoa said at a news conference.

Sweden didn't want to focus on getting revenge by helping eliminate Germany, which got some favourable calls in a tense 2-1 victory over the Swedes on Saturday night.

As the runner-up, Mexico meets Brazil on Monday in Samara.

West Ham United striker Javier Hernandez became the first Mexican player to score 50 goals for his country - in 104 appearances - with his strike against South Korea. They missed many chances against Germany and they will need to improve on that if they wish to beat Mexico.

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