Published June 23, 2014
Mexico surged into the World Cup's knockout stage for a sixth-straight time Monday with a 3-1 win over Croatia.
Playing in Recife, Rafael Marquez, Andres Guardado and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored in a 10-minute span in the second half, dooming a talented Croatia side to elimination from the group stage.
The Croats had to win to advance and held the bulk of possession, but had trouble seriously threatening goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who kept out all efforts until an 87th-minute consolation goal from Ivan Perisic.
Mexico entered the game needing only a draw, and looked dangerous in attack, but was kept out until the three-goal burst.
Meanwhile, in Brasilia, the Brazilian squad faced Cameroon and secured a spot in the second round of the World Cup.
Neymar scored twice in the first half to lead Brazil to a 4-1 win over the African nation. Fred and Fernandinho added second-half goals for Brazil, which advanced from Group A.
Neymar opened the scoring off a low cross by midfielder Luiz Gustavo in the 17th minute, deftly side-footing the ball home from close range, then restored the lead with a low right-foot strike from the top of the penalty area in the 35th after a pass by left back Marcelo.
Midfielder Joel Matip had equalized for already eliminated Cameroon with a tap-in from inside the area in the 26th.
Fred found the net in the 49th and the substitute Fernandinho struck in the 84th.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.