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Analysis: Korean mistakes punished in Mexico defeat

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rostov-on-Don: Defensive mistakes cost Korea Republic dearly in a 2-1 defeat to Mexico in their second 2018 FIFA World Cup match on Saturday.

Edson Alvarez of Mexico attempts to dispossess Son Heung-min of Korea Republic.

Coach Shin Tae-yong began with a 4-5-1 formation, and despite all the efforts of Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan, The Taeguk Warriors could only find a breakthrough in added time, after Mexico had scored twice to extend Korea Republic's World Cup winless run to eight games in a row.

Despite a solid start at the back, Shin's men conceded their second penalty of the tournament and Carlos Vela converted, before Javier Hernandez doubled Mexico's lead in the second half. Son's late stunner was not enough for Korea Republic to collect any points.

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Perfect Outing for Lee Yong

Before Mexico were awarded with their penalty. Lee displayed perfectly timed tackles and clearances denying Mexico's rising star Hirving Lozano any opportunity to create chances for his teammates.

The right-back performed 11 defensive actions and did not lose a single tackle all afternoon to nullify the danger of Lozano, who had starred in Mexico's opener against Germany.

Lozano failed to register any shots on target, and had only three efforts all afternoon, one of which was blocked by the Korean defence.

Jang sees mistakes punished

Even though Korea Republic left the Tricolor helpless with their resolute defending for the majority of the first half, errors from Jang contributed to an eventual defeat.

The 26-year-old defender raised his hand while attempting to block an Andres Guardado cross, gifting Mexico an early penalty that left his side a goal behind.

In the second half, a virtuoso counter attack from Lozano and co, saw Hernandez dribble past Jang to find the goal wide open, as he slotted the ball past Cho Hyun-woo.

Son's sole strike not enough

Hwang and Kim Min-woo fed the Tottenham Hotspur forward a couple of key long balls in the first half, yet Son failed to find the back of the net on both occasions.

As Korea Republic chased an equaliser that would keep their qualification hopes alive, Shin looked to take the game to Mexico and as a result Son found scoring opportunities more frequent to come by.

The Mexican defence was alive to the threat of the Korean talisman who saw four of his eight efforts blocked. Ultimately he found space to volley home as the match wore off, but his sole strike was not enough to prevent a second successive defeat that kept Korea Republic hanging by a thread as reigning champions Germany await them on Matchday Three.

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