Hirving Lozano (R top) of Mexico vies with Andreas Granqvist (bottom) of Sweden during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group F match between Mexico and Sweden in Yekaterinburg, Russia, June 27, 2018. Sweden won 3-0. Mexico and Sweden advanced to the round of 16. (Xinhua/Li Ming)
YEKATERINBURG, Russia, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Sweden reached round of 16 at the World Cup as Group F leaders after a convincing 3-0 victory over Mexico in Yekaterinburg Arena on Wednesday.
Mexico also advanced to the knockout stage as runners-up thanks to Germany's shock defeat 2-0 to South Korea.
The decisive match started with a breathtaking tempo, as both sides demonstrated aggressiveness and determination from the very beginning, and Jesus Gallardo was booked by the referee within the first minute.
A floppy back-pass of the Swedes gave Mexico first goal-scoring chance in the 16th minute, but Carlos Vela's curling shot just missed the goal inches wide of the far post.
Mexico survived a penalty scare as the referee stopped the game to review VAR, then refused to revise his initial judgment.
Sweden pulled ahead in the 50th minute when Viktor Claesson's shot ended up an unanticipated assist for Ludwig Augustinsson, whose calm half-volley gave Sweden a 1-0 lead.
The Scandinavians were awarded a penalty after Hector Moreno fouled Marcus Bergin in the box. Captain Andreas Granqvist made no mistake from the spot.
Mexico defender Edson Alvarez scored an own goal in the 74th minute to help Sweden seal the victory and top position on the group standings on a superior goal difference.
"We really worked as a team, all of us wanted to everything to give our players the chance to succeed on the pitch. I'm so incredibly proud, almost moved and so touched by the thought of how we performed during the entire match," Sweden coach Janne Andersson said on the post-match press conference.
"Our players on the pitch were so disciplined and loyal in every they did," he added.
Andersson expressed satisfaction about the implementation of the offensive play and set-pieces.
"We really could have scored at any point, maybe we should have scored in the first half," the Swede said.
"First of all, I have to say that we qualified because we beat Germany and (South) Korea. However, and nevertheless, I'm very hurt (by this defeat)," Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said.
Osorio felt unhappy because his team didn't score and conceded three. "I wasn't too happy with the way we defended and that was a learning experience for me," he added.
Sweden will take on runners-up of Group E and Mexico will play Group E winners.