Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
So Mexico face an in-form Netherlands in the Round of 16. It will be an intense battle as both teams have done wonderful things so far. Brazil won 4-1 on the night and will take on Chile.
Mexico may have started slowly but in the entire game looked a side that had all the signs of scoring. They did so and that to in an emphatic manner.
90+5'- Full TIme Croatia 1-3 Mexico.
90+3'- One minute left. Croatia bid adieu to Brazil.
90+2'- Mexican goalkeeper, Ochoa – who has little to do all day – denies Perisic a second goal with a fine save.
90'- Rebic overruns the ball and then follows through on Pena with his studs up. Red card for the substitute. What an end to the game here. By the way it's four minutes of added time.
89'- Red Card for Croatia. The player in crime is Ante Rebic.
88'- Can we have a turnaround once again. Little time left.
87'- Goal Croatia 1-3 Mexico. Ivan Perisic scores after an assist by Rakitic. Perisic picked the ball up midway inside the Mexico half and careered towards the goal. He played the ball to Rakitic who returned the favour. From a tight angle, he tucked the ball into the net.
85'- Substitution Andrés Guardado makes way for Marco Fabián (Mexico).
83'- Well it took 10 minutes to turn the game around. Three goals have took Croatia by surprise. Mexico are on seventh heaven. Meanwhile Brazil go 4-1 against Cameroon.
82'- Goal Croatia 0-3 Mexico. Javier Hernandez scores a header and Mexico are enjoying. Another corner, another simple goal. The ball is sent to the front post, Marquez heads it on to the back one and Hernandez has time to head the ball home.
80'- So what a turn around. Can Mexico add some more to the tally?
79'- Substitution for Mexico. Peña replaces Peralta.
76'- Game over surely. Mexico are going through. Open defence see Croatia concede. The second goal was suicidal.
75'- Goal Croatia 0-2 Mexico. Andrés Guardado scores a splendid goal. Mexico won possession just inside their own half. Hernandez and Peralta exchanged passed and Hernandez was given the space to head for goal. On the edge of the box, he returned the ball to Peralta who swept it across the goal and into the path of Guardado and his first-time effort from inside the box left Pletikosa with no chance.
75'- Substitution for Croatia. Danijel Pranjic makes way for Nikica Jelavic.
74'- Croatia come straight back, Srna breaks down the right and drills it across goal before Marquez scrambles it away.
72'- Goal Croatia 0-1 Mexico. Rafael Márquez scores. There it is! This goal has been coming but it's from an unlikely source. The corner is played in deep to the back post and ex-Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez climbs high and heads down into the ground, past Pletikosa. 1-0.
71'- Another corner to Mexico. Hernandez does well down the left before his cross is blocked by Corluka
69'- Mexico are prominent on the Croatian half. Something needs to be done for Croatia as they have 20 minutes to stay alive.
68'- Mexico gaining control and is looking the side that is threatening. Paul Aguilar ghosts into the Croatian box and attempts to slot past Pletikosa who saves well.
67'- For once some real quality delivery from Mexico, Herrera whips in the corner which Corluka clears from the line. Croatia attempt to break but Vazquez breaks it up and is booked.
66'- Yellow Card - José Juan Vázquez (Mexico) He is set to miss the next game.
65'- Poor refereeing! A deep cross comes into Guardado at the back post, he controls it before volleying at goal. The shot flies towards Darijo Srna who blocks the shot with both hands, nothing given. Mexico Corner. What a bad decision!
63'- Much like the first half as Mexico getting a hold of this game as the time ticks away.
61'- Substitution for Mexico. Javier Hernandez comes in for Giovani Dos Santos.
60'- Yet another free-kick is given away out on the wing, this time it's Guardado's turn to waste the opportunity. It's still 0-0.
59'- Croatia need something here and that's a goal. It isn't happening for them yet and a sense of urgency needs to be brought in. Mexico are going through with this scoreline.
58'- Substitution for Croatia. Šime Vrsaljko on for Mateo Kovacic.
56'- A corner to Mexico. It lands on the head of Peralta and makes its way over the bar.
55'- Herrera and Peralta combine well to slide in Dos Santos but Srna comes across with a brilliant last ditch challenge, conceding the corner. Good defensive display from the right back.
54'- Modric makes a cross field pass to Pranjic as Mandzukic makes the run but Pranjic's cross is a premature one and it leads to a goal kick.
51'- The second half has started in a much energizing fashion. Though its still goalless. Meanwhile Brazil goes 3-1 up as Fred scores his first goal of the tournament.
50'- Modric picks the ball up from deep and makes his way into the Mexico box. He swings his leg over the ball but Mexico swing it out for a corner. Into the box it goes but Olic throws Layun to the ground the Mexico have possession once more.
49'- Croatia appear to have a more attacking formation in the second half with two up-top and it's already paying dividends. Corner to Croatia.
48'- Modric wins a free-kick wide on the right but the delivery is extremely poor. Not the way Croatia would have wanted it to begin.
The players have come out and we are ready for the second half.
So will Croatia come out strong in the second half and force a winner or will it be the other way round? Lets see what's in store.
45+3'- Half time Croatia 0-0 Mexico.
45+2'- Srna wins a free-kick wide on the right about 40 yards out. Rakitic swings it in but Mandzukic can't get onto it and its headed out for a Croatian throw.
45+1'- Two minutes of added time.
45'- Modric is almost caught outside his own box but referee awards a free kick to Croatia.
42'- The corner is whipped in right on-top of the keeper but Hector Moreno is all over Stipe Pletikosa.
41'- Good piece of play from Mexico, they work it from right to left before Layun looks to curl one into the far corner but it is well blocked and goes out for a corner.
40'- So half time approaches here and it is still goalless. Not many chances neither any penetration.
39'- Srna takes control of the free-kick from about 30 yards but bends it high and wide. Both teams lacking quality in the final third.
37'- Guardado wins another corner from the same side. Vrsaljko and Pranjic combine to give away another one. Marquez plays a foul on Perisic as the referee awards a yellow card for the former.
35'- Free kick to Mexico as the Croatian defence parry the in coming ball out with ease. Mexico reclaim the second ball and eventually earn a corner on the left. Guardado takes it but Mandzukic gets rids of it.
34'- The game has dipped somewhat with both sides happy to spread play without too much penetrative movement. By the way Brazil has taken the initiative as Neymar makes it 2-1 for the hosts against Cameroon.
33'- Croatia keeping the ball well. Their game eventually comes to an end when Herrera goes down a little too easily under the challenge of Vrsaljko.
30'- So half an hour into the game and it is still goalless. Meanwhile in the other Group A encounter its Cameroon 1-1 Brazil.
29'- Croatia are managing to work some space on the edge of the Mexico box, Perisic unleashes from distance this time but again it flies past Ochoa's goal. Long shots aren't working for Croatia.
28'- Both teams are looking defensively sound. Something in the attack needs to work out.
27'- Pranjic strikes one from around 30 yards but the ball fails to test Ochoa as it goes high above the cross bar.
26'- Lively atmosphere and the fans are electric. We need a goal!
25'- Croatia look the more technically impressive side and are obviously confident of working enough openings to score that vital goal. But Mexico are being strong defensively.
24'- Croatia are looking to utilise the wings but as soon as Mexico lose possession they revert to a back five which is proving incredibly hard to break down.
23'- Mexico have hit the woodwork and also the wet field led to Peralta's slip. Croatia must be thanking the heavens its still 0-0.
22'- Olic wins a throw deep in the Mexico half on the right-hand side. From that Croatia retain possession and pin-ball the football around the edge of the Mexico area. It comes to nothing.
20'- So goalless here as 20 minutes have passed. Mexico getting some good chances. Croatia still yet to make something good happen.
19'- Mexico have their first real chance of the game, Rodriguez slides a ball through to Peralta who beats the offside trap but slips at the vital moment. Still 0-0 here and Mexico is making a mark here in the game.
18'- Croatia are struggling to pick up the Mexicans in wide areas; Guardardo and Rodriquez are both finding space. This can spell trouble for Croatia who need a desperate victory.
16'- Woodwork What a goal this would have been. Herrera picked the ball up in the middle of the park and drove forward. He played a delicious one-two and kept on going. He then unleashed a powerful shot of an effort from at least 30 yards out. That beat Pletikosa but could not beat the post. Stupendous!
14'- The corner is sent long to Srna who stands it up to the back stick for Mandzukic to head down but the keeper reads the square well and intercepts.
13'- Third corner of the game and for Croatia. A good run from the right by Perisic sees him make move before hanging a ball up to the back post, there is nobody there though and Marquez puts it behind.
12'- Croatia are looking the more impressive of the two sides in the early stages, enjoying the majority of possession but struggling to create anything meaningful.
10'- Ten minutes into the game and apart from the two Croatia corners, nothing has come much.
9'- Rakitic picks up an early booking following a late tackle on Vazquez, a deserved yellow for the Barcelona midfielder.
8'- Yellow Card - Ivan Rakitic (Croatia)
7'- Corner again for Croatia. Its the second corner of the game for the Europeans following a mix-up between Guardado and Ochoa. Perisic hammers over from about 10 yards.
5'- Corner to Croatia. Its the first of the game after some good running from Mandzukic. Pranjic swings in and in-swinger but Mexico deal with it easily enough.
4'- Croatia knock it about a bit and then knock it out of play.
2'- Mexico enjoying a spell of possession before the ball is intercepted as Croatia gain the ball.
1'- The match has started as both teams will look to seal the early initiative.
We are ready for kick-off.
Expect a cracker of a game as both teams are eyeing nothing else except a win. A draw will see Mexico through, but Croatia will need a win. Lets hope the better team gets through!
The teams are out of the tunnel and the national anthems are being sung.
Croatia:Pletikosa; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Corluka, Pranjic; Srna, Rakitic, Modric, Perisic; Mandzukic, Olic. Subs: Zelenika, Subasic, Vukojevic, Jelavic, Schildenfeld, Brozovic, Badelj, Rebic, Sammir, Kovacic, Vida, Eduardo.
Mexico:Ochoa, Rodriguez, Marquez, Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar, Vazquez. Subs: Corona, Talavera, Salcido, Reyes, Fabian, Jimenez, Pulido, Hernandez, Ponce, Brizuela, Aquino, Peña.
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Welcome to our live coverage of the World Cup Group A game between Croatia and Mexico at Arena Pernambuco – Recife. The Group A lclash between these two sides marks an interesting climax between two teams where Croatia need a win and Mexico need at least a draw to seal passage to the next round.
Both teams will enter the field with their confidence sky-high as Mexico managed to get a result against the hosts and World Cup favourites last week thanks to a sensational performance by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. The 28-year-old will definitely be starting under the bar and there is also a great chance that manager Miguel Herrera will add Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez to the mix - the 26-year-old came from the bench in both previous fixtures.
It is all hands on deck for Niko Kovac’s team who seem to have got a huge boost with the addition of their star striker Mario Mandzukic who scored twice against Cameroon last week. The Bayern Munich player will be starting up front in what is likely to be an identical line-up to last time, with captain Darijo Srna, who is also the most capped player in the team, picking up his 116th appearance for the Blazers.