• FT

    Croatia

    0

    Mexico

    1

  • FT

    Brazil

    2

    Turkey

    1

  • FT

    Italy

    2

    Ecuador

    0

FIFA WORLD CUP

Niigata Big Swan, Niigata, Japan

* Local time based on your geographic location.

0 - 1

FT

Mexico

  • Cuauhtemoc Blanco 61' PEN
  • 93'

    The final whistle goes. A fine start for the Mexicans. Blanco's penalty decides a fairly uneventful game, and they probably merited the win. Croatia don't look at all likely to repeat their success of 1998, though.

  • 92'

    Mexico have the ball - they seem content to play out time

  • 91'

    Croatia corner, but it's cleared

  • 90'

    And that's a really important save from Perez.

  • 90'

    Simunic turns and wallops it...

  • 90'

    The last minute of normal time and Croatia have a throw, it's flicked on...

  • 89'

    Palencia brings down Kovac and kicks the ball away - an unnecessary yellow card

  • 88'

    It's quite easy for the Mexicans now - they must be favourites to go through now.

  • 88'

    But Carmona heads it away

  • 87'

    Rapajic has won a corner - he's been one of Croatia's best players, but can they get an equaliser?

  • 85'

    And Pletikosa palms it away. That was an acute angle.

  • 85'

    Morales is free on the left again. He gets into the box, twists, turns and shoots

  • 84'

    ... and those were important defensive headers from Simunic and Tomas for Croatia

  • 84'

    Morales is in plenty of space, he crosses for Hernandez...

  • 83'

    And Pletikosa is out quickly to deny Hernandez a chance when Mexico win the ball back.

  • 82'

    Goal kick for the Croatians - they're in no rush to take it, surprisingly

  • 82'

    Saric bursts down the right, but he;s outnumbered. It's the same story for Rapajic on the left.

  • 80'

    Raajic crosses, and there wasn't a single Croat in the box. Easy for the Mexican defence.

  • 79'

    Change for Mexico - the pony-talied Palencia replaces Blanco

  • 79'

    But that's a poor shot, gently rolling wide.

  • 79'

    Fine passing and Mercado picks out Morales at the back post

  • 79'

    They need to get the ball first, and Mexico are happy to pass it round

  • 78'

    The Mexicans seem comfortable with their lead - can 10-man Croatia equalise without a striker?

  • 76'

    Mexico have more room now as the Croats push forward.

  • 75'

    A nice dummy by Morales on the left to give Luna room to cross

  • 75'

    Blanco's finding more room on the right to cross, and it wasn't far away from two of his team-mates.

  • 74'

    But Morales drills it in and it's cleared

  • 74'

    Blanco wins Mexico a free kick on the right - he'll probably take it himself.

  • 72'

    The Croats are looking more lively with the younger subs replacing their big three - Boksic, Suker and Prosinecki, who aren't noted for their movement.

  • 71'

    Jarni's drilled shot is cleared and Croatia have the ball again

  • 70'

    Blanco's deep in his own half, backheeling and spreading the play - the eccentric white-booted forward really is Di Canio-esque

  • 69'

    But Mexico find it easy to get that one away.

  • 69'

    Rapajic charges down the left again, and wins a corner.

  • 68'

    And he's joined by Hernandez. Borghetti is off. Not a fine performance by the striker, but he set up the goal with a really fine flick.

  • 67'

    But first it's a Croatian change - Stanic for Boksic. Their final throw of the dice, and it looks like Stanic is the sole forward now

  • 67'

    And Mexico are warming up another of 1998's most prolific forwards, Luis Hernandez.

  • 66'

    Two players are off receiving treatment as Croatia's corner comes to nothing.

  • 65'

    ...but Perez fumbles it and is relieved to see it go behind for a corner.

  • 64'

    Well, Soldo has a go - it's a tame effort...

  • 64'

    Saric is a defender - so how are Croatia going to score now?

  • 63'

    Change for Croatia. Saric is coming on - and it's the 1998 hero Suker coming off.

  • 63'

    Morales is in room on the left. Luna crosses but Croaita clear

  • 62'

    Croatia have a free kick but Rapajic's shot is blocked

  • 61'

    Mexico must be confident now - a goal and a man up against an unambitous Croatian side.

  • 60'

    GOAL! He sends Pletikosa the wrong way

  • 60'

    Blanco steps up...

  • 60'

    And it's a red card too. Zivkovic is off - the first dismissal of the World Cup

  • 59'

    The previously unimpressive Borghetti sent Blanco through and Zivkovic tripped him

  • 59'

    Penalty!!!!

  • 59'

    Borghetti goes down the wing and crosses but Croatia get it away.

  • 58'

    Nearly the hour and will the managers be thinking of subsitutes? Mexico have striker Luis Hernandez available while Croatia could turn to Goran Valovic or Bosko Balaban

  • 56'

    It's scrappy in the midfield today - some needless fouls.

  • 54'

    ... and it's a powerful effort but just wide.

  • 54'

    Rapajic is eyeing it up...

  • 53'

    Can Croatia do better. They have a free kick in shooting range.

  • 53'

    ... but it's tame and well wide. A poor effort, indicative of the Mexican finishing so far today

  • 53'

    Torrado has room to shoot...

  • 51'

    Rapajic thinks he's won a corner - but a flag's up. The substitute is giving the Croats more on the left wing

  • 50'

    Luna goes down the left to cross but it's easy to clear again

  • 49'

    The midfield is pretty crowded - not surprising as both sides have five men there

  • 48'

    Confusion in the Mexico box. Boksic misses a header and Torrado finally clears.

  • 47'

    Croatia continue to press - they're looking brighter this half

  • 47'

    And another good save from Perez, tipping it over the bar

  • 46'

    Croatia free kick. Jarni crosses, Soldo rises...

  • 46'

    There's a change for Croatia. Prosinecki is off, Milan Rapajic on. A very disappointing performance from Prosinecki - rarely seen in open play.

  • 46'

    The second half is about to start. Will Croatia prove more attacking? Will Mexico keep up their fine form of the last 15 minutes

  • 45'

    And that's half time. Croatia were the better side for the first half-hour and Mexico thereafter. And Borghetti should have given them the lead.

  • 45'

    ... and Pletikosa has to punch away from under his bar. Blanco crosses again and Marquez heads over

  • 45'

    Blanco comes across to take. He bends it in...

  • 45'

    No - the lose the ball, Mexico break and Niko Kovac concedes the corner

  • 44'

    One minute of injury time is signalled. Croatia have the ball - can they make the most of it?

  • 44'

    The Mexicans are brighter now after a quiet first 30 minutes, but it looks like the half will end goalless

  • 42'

    Perez comes 10 yards outside his box to head away. Boksic was offside, though

  • 41'

    Torrado has a crack from 40 yards, but it's straight at Pletikosa

  • 40'

    Not sure why he did that - it didn't fool anyone. Perhaps he has an image to live up to...

  • 40'

    Torrado shoots but straight at Pletikosa

  • 39'

    The first Blanco hop of the World Cup...

  • 38'

    Blanco overhits a cross, but once again he's dropped off to get the ball

  • 37'

    Pletikosa claims well - he was clattered by Borgehtti as well

  • 36'

    Mexico have a free kick on the right. Left-footers Morales and Luna are over to take

  • 35'

    More Croatian pressure, but set pieces have proved their best hope so far

  • 34'

    Croatian corner. Prosinecki takes but Perez is out well to take

  • 33'

    Two unconvincing shots there - Morales' at least found Borghetti.

  • 33'

    ... hits the side-netting. He should have scored

  • 33'

    Blanco crosses, Morales fires a cross-shot.. and Borghetti...

  • 32'

    Niko Kovac almost catches Karmona in possession near his own goal. Interesting to see the wing back doing the harrying, and not the aged strikers

  • 31'

    But it's straight at Pletikosa. Mexico's first effort on target, though, and not surprising that Blacno was involved

  • 31'

    This is a normal corner from Morales, Blanco rises and heads...

  • 31'

    Morales plays a short corner with Blanco, blasts it against Zivkovic and wins another

  • 30'

    But the have a corner - Simunic concedes it when he could have put it out for a throw.

  • 30'

    Croatia defend deep and Mexico can't break them down so far

  • 29'

    Marquez is fouled by Niko Kovac but advantage is played, but it comes ot nothing again

  • 28'

    Suker's given offside as Prosinecki passes - as the Mexican back three push up a bit more

  • 27'

    The Croats don't play many long passes, but Jarni is certainly looking for a diagonal ball to play in the strikers

  • 27'

    Blanco plays it in but Pletikosa gathers.

  • 26'

    And the Croats have another free kick, but it's cleared and Mexico break

  • 25'

    He puts it out for a throw but another indication of Suker's vision.

  • 25'

    That's a clever pass by Sukur. Kovac is bursting forward and Perez comes out...

  • 24'

    Mexico are happy to have possession deep in their own half and build from there

  • 23'

    Kovac goes for a long throw, but achieves rather more height than distance

  • 23'

    ... but that's poor and it's easy for Borghetti to clear

  • 22'

    Niko Kovac tries another cross, and wins another corner. Prosinecki will take

  • 21'

    Mexico clear but only after Simunic has won a third header - Mexico are struggling to deal with him at corners

  • 21'

    After a few minutes' pressure, Croatia break, Kovac crosses and Mercado puts it behind

  • 20'

    Jarni goes for a long pass but Boksic seems to lose it in the sun

  • 18'

    The Mexicans' best spell of the game so far - they're deep in the Croatian half.

  • 18'

    Terrific cross from Caballero, but it's just in front of Borghetti

  • 16'

    Blanco's drifted out wide to get the ball but Robert Kovac is sticking with him. Mexican throw.

  • 16'

    Torrado wallops a shot way over the bar - probably the first Mexican effort, but it didn't worry Pletikosa

  • 15'

    Despite the pedigree of their strikers, it's Simunic's height which has brought Croatia closest to a goal

  • 14'

    ... and Soldo connects with the half volley but it's too high.

  • 14'

    Jarni's picked out Simunic again. He heads it back...

  • 13'

    Jarni throws it to Boksic's whose turn wins a corner

  • 12'

    It's getting a bit more competitive in the midfield, but both sides have started at quite a slow tempo.

  • 11'

    A needless foul there - Torrado on Boksic, and Croatia are back in possession.

  • 11'

    Suker's looking to add to his World Cup goals haul, but that's a surprisingly poor, if ambitious volley

  • 9'

    Blanco again on the ball, only for Tomas to foul him. The Mexican striker is dropping deep to get the ball.

  • 8'

    The Mexicans have possession back and they're taking a breather as they knock it across the back three

  • 7'

    Early pressure from the Croats, and 1998 veteran Jarni already prominent as they go forward.

  • 6'

    And that's a great stop from Perez. Corner, and they win another.

  • 6'

    The wing back himslef crosses from the left, Simunic rises...

  • 5'

    Jarni bursts down the left only to be halted illegally.

  • 5'

    And Morales himself goes down, but the Chinese ref thinks Kovac's challenge was a fair one

  • 4'

    Mexico attack and Zivkovic clears for a throw, which Morales will take

  • 3'

    It's Prosinecki, but it's very high from the Portsmouth player.

  • 2'

    The first free kick in a dangerous position for the Croats. Prosinecki or Suker?

  • 1'

    A Bright start for the Mexicans - Blanco turns well and flicks it inside for Cavallero but Craotia clear

  • 1'

    There's birght sunshine in Niigata as Mexico kick off.

  •  

    They're just about to start. Can Croatia repeat their heroics of 1998 or will World Cup regulars Mexico finally shine away from home?

COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Croatia

  • 8(4)

  • -

  • 16

  • 0%

    0%

  • Mexico

  • 8(4)

  • -

  • 17

Croatia

Line-up
POS No Name

G

1 Stipe Pletikosa

D

3 Josip Simunic

D

4 Stejpan Tomas

D

6 Boris Zivkovic

D

17 Robert Jarni

D

21 Robert Kovac

M

8 Robert Prosinecki
M
5 Milan Rapajc

M

10 Nico Kovac

M

14 Zvonimir Soldo

F

9 Davor Suker
D
15 Danijel Saric

F

11 Alen Boksic
M
13 Mario Stanic
 
Substitutes
POS No Name
D 15 Danijel Saric
M 5 Milan Rapajc
M 13 Mario Stanic

Match Stats

  • Croatia
  • Mexico
8(4) Shots (on goal) 8(4)
16 Fouls 17
11 Corner kicks 3
7 Offsides 1
0% Time of Possession 0%
0 Yellow Cards 0
1 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 4