Jun 23, 2014 at 9pm UK at ‚ÄčArena Pernambuco, Recife
Croatia
1-3
Mexico
Perisic (86')
Rakitic (9')
Rebic (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Marquez (72'), Guardado (75'), Hernandez (82')
Marquez (39'), Vazquez (66')

Player Ratings: Croatia 1-3 Mexico

Sports Mole takes a look at who impressed during Mexico's 3-1 win over Croatia in their final Group A clash this evening.

Mexico scored three times in the final 20 minutes to book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup this evening, eventually running out 3-1 victors over 10-man Croatia in Recife.

Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado and Javier Hernandez put the game beyond Croatia in a 10-minute spell in the second half, before Ivan Perisic grabbed a late consolation and Ante Rebic was shown an even later red card.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at who impressed during a dramatic match in Group A.


Croatia players pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Croatia and Mexico at Arena Pernambuco on June 23, 2014© Getty Images

CROATIA

Goal

Stipe Pletikosa: Didn't have a lot to do for most of the game, but was at fault for the opening goal. Should have kept Marquez's downward header out, but could do nothing about the other two Mexican strikes. (5/10)

Defence

Darijo Srna: Was fortunate not to give away a penalty for handball in the second half. Struggled to make an impact in the opposition half and was caught out when pushing forward for the goal that his side needed. (5/10)

Vedran Corluka: Helped to keep Mexico quiet for the first 70 minutes, but was powerless to resist as they flooded forward in numbers late on. Made an important clearance off the line when the scores were goalless. (6/10)

Dejan Lovren: Another who made an important contribution in limiting Mexico to long-range shots for much of the match, but found himself outnumbered when Croatia began pushing for a goal. (6/10)

Sime Vrsaljko: Taken off before the hour mark as Niko Kovac looked to move Modric back into a holding role. Didn't make an impact on the game and the experiment to start him didn't pay off. (5/10)

Midfield

Ivan Perisic: Again, one of Croatia's brighter players, but had nowhere near as much joy going forward as he did against Cameroon. Got the goal with a well-taken finish and threatened again late on, but they were his only real contributions. (7/10)

Ivan Rakitic: Failed to control the game like he is capable of doing, although credit also goes to the Mexican midfield for that. Played a delighted flick through to Perisic to set up their goal. (6/10)

Danijel Pranjic: Was moved from left-back into centre-midfield, but the experiment didn't pay off. Was switched back to the left after an hour, but failed to have any great influence on the game. (5/10)

Luka Modric: Taken out of the holding role he has occupied for much of the season and put back in a number 10 position. Was not given space to operate and was anonymous for large periods of the match. Didn't have a particularly bad game, but was unable to get on the ball as much as he would have liked. (5/10)

Ivica Olic: Provided sparks of creativity from the left flank and looked as likely as anyone to forge a breakthrough in the first half, but that is not saying much. Was taken off with just over 20 minutes to play. (6/10)

Attack

Mario Mandzukic: Failed to impose himself on the game and was marked out of the match by Mexico's defence. Had one or two decent knockdowns but became increasingly isolated and wasn't given good enough service. (5/10)

Substitutes

Mateo Kovacic: Came on with more than half an hour remaining but had minimal impact on the match as Mexico began to dominate. (5/10)

Ante Rebic: Made one good run into the box that resulted in the ball being cleared off the line, but also got himself sent off with a rash challenge late on. (4/10)

Nikica Jelavic: Came on just before Mexico's second goal, which well and truly killed the game off. Didn't have much of a chance to shine. (6/10)


Mexico's players lineup before the game with Croatia on June 23, 2014© Getty Images

MEXICO

Goal

Guillermo Ochoa: A much quieter night than his heroics against Brazil. Could do very little about the goal and made another good save in stoppage time, but that was all he had to do all night. (7/10)

Defence

Paul Aguilar: Was held back for much of the first half as the wing-backs dropped in to create a back five. Was given more licence to roam in the second half. (7/10)

Francisco Rodriguez: Played his part in stifling a talented Croatian attack, allowing them nothing until the game was over as a contest. (7/10)

Rafael Marquez: The leader of a fine defensive performance from his side. Marked Mandzukic out of the game and got on the scoresheet himself to kick-start his side's flurry of goals for good measure. Imperious display. (8/10)

Hector Moreno: Another heavily involved in keeping Croatia at arm's length. Pulled off an incredible goal-line clearance to deny Rebic. (8/10)

Miguel Layun: Like Aguilar, was forced to curb his attacking instincts for much of the match before posing more a threat when the Croatian legs tired. (7/10)

Midfield

Jose Vazquez: Solid in the middle of the park all night. Didn't give Modric any room to manoeuvre and helped to keep Croatia's most dangerous players quiet. (7/10)

Hector Herrera: Also contributed to keeping Croatia's midfield quiet. Was unfortunate not to score in the first half with a thunderbolt that came crashing off the underside of the crossbar. (7/10)

Andres Guardado: Tireless display as he kept going in the engine room until he was replaced with five minutes of normal time remaining. Should have had a penalty shortly after the hour mark, but got a goal later as a result of a lung-bursting run forward to provide support. (8/10)

Attack

Giovani dos Santos: Quiet game from Giovani as he struggled to get any joy against the Croatian defence. Was taken off shortly after the hour mark, before Mexico began to really control the game. (6/10)

Oribe Peralta: Battled away up front all game without much luck for the vast majority of it. Had a decent chance in the first half only to slip at the vital moment. (7/10)

Substitutes

Javier Hernandez: Came on with the scores still goalless and played his part in Mexico's subsequent dominance. Will be delighted to have ended his 11-game international goal drought with a typical finish from close range. (8/10)

Carlos Pena: Didn't have much of an impact after being brought on with 10 minutes remaining, except being on the receiving end of Rebic's red-card challenge. (6/10)

Marco Fabian: Replaced Guardado with five minutes left and didn't have much time to make a mark. (6/10)


Mexico's defender Andres Guardado celebrates after scoring the 0-2 during a Group A football match against Croatia on June 23, 2014
Read Next:
Match Analysis: Croatia 1-3 Mexico
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