Sunday, August 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mexico beats Croatia 3-1, advances in World Cup

By
June 25, 2014 |

RECIFE, Brazil — One of the first things Miguel Herrera did when he became Mexico’s fourth coach in a year was call Rafael Marquez and ask the 35-year-old defender known as “the boss” to return to the national side as captain.

On Monday, the world saw why.

Marquez’s pivotal goal from a header in the 72nd minute ignited a scoring burst, and Mexico surged into the World Cup’s knockout stage for a sixth straight time with a 3-1 triumph over Croatia.

“I did not hesitate one minute after my talk with him to appoint him captain,” Herrera said of Marquez, now in his fourth World Cup. “He’s had many achievements in his career, personally, but he’s also provided leadership to the team, that soundness, and that is why they call him the boss.”

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, but played aggressively and looked dangerous in attack even before breaking through. The result gave Mexico a second-place finish behind Brazil in Group A and set up a second-round meeting with Group B winner the Netherlands.

“We overcame the first hurdle,” Miguel Herrera said, adding that the team would dine with their families in Recife later Monday night. “We’re going to celebrate tonight but tomorrow we have to start thinking of our match with the Netherlands.”

Marquez, who had scored in Germany in 2006 and South Africa four years ago, made it three straight World Cups with a goal by beating Croatia defender Vedran Corluka to head home Hector Herrera’s corner.

“They wanted him to retire, and look at him,” Guardado said. “He plays like he’s 23″

Three minutes later, Guardado found the net with a hard, left-footed, one-time shot after a cross from Oribe Peralta.

Then in the 82nd, Hernandez, the popular Manchester United striker who has been a second-half substitute in all three of Mexico’s matches, scored with a header after Herrera’s corner had glanced off the head of Marquez.

“Mexico was equal in the first half. We tried to (attack) and left spaces in the second half,” Croatia defender Danijel Pranjic said. “They scored on set plays and Marquez killed us.”

Croatia didn’t score until it was too late, with Perisic sliding a shot past Ochoa after being set up by a neat backheel pass from Ivan Rakitic.

“It’s a moot point whether we should have kept it nil-nil until the last 10 minutes and then go all out on the attack,” Croatia coach Niko Kovac said. “We decided to attack earlier, but it wasn’t successful.”

Croatia’s late goal was the first Mexico has conceded in the World Cup, but “El Tri” hardly seemed to mind when the final whistle sounded and a lively, heavily Mexican crowd in Arena Pernambuco erupted.

“Today we felt as if we were playing at home in Mexico,” Miguel Herrera said.

Mexico appeared to be laboring through a downspell before this World Cup. It struggled just to qualify out of CONCACAF and fired three coaches in a year’s time before Miguel Herrera rescued Mexico’s hopes. El Tri made it to Brazil as CONCACAF’s fourth team after soundly beating New Zealand in a last-chance qualifier.

Marquez was quick to credit his energetic coach for unifying the national team in a way he’d never seen before.

“Officials, the coaches, the players have shown this unity and it is quite important,” Marquez said. “We’ve shown this on the pitch and off, and that is why we have such a sound, robust group. We get along very well. … We’re all united. We’re working together, and therefore you work comfortably, with joy.”

Known as a coach of the people for the way he engages fans on social media and at times in public, Herrera implored the Mexico faithful to “stay together” and sing the national anthem “like never before.”

Mexican fans, whose green jerseys distinguished them as the overwhelming majority in the crowd, belted out a thunderous rendition.

Croatia players were heckled each time they took a corner kick, as was goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa when he touched the ball.

Mexico’s counterattacks only further enlivened the crowd, particularly a sizzling 25-yard shot by Hector Herrera that rattled the crossbar in the 16th minute.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Nurse-family program helps moms, moms-to-be

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Garamendi ranks 6th on DC paper’s franking list

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Area service members promote, graduate

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

Fairfield payments to golf courses expected to drop

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

Suisun City police log: Aug. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

 
.

US / World

Angels use 8 pitchers to beat A’s 2-0, extend lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Opinion

Thanks to Tomato Alley volunteers

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
No justice, peace without effort

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Faison identified location properly

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
.

Living

1 God, 2 faiths, a marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2

 
Utah approves winery in town with polygamous sect

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

Wilder memoir to give gritty view of prairie life

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

 
Publisher acquires Robin Williams biography

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

Amazon starts selling physical books in Brazil

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

 
.

Sports

Prep football preview: Vacaville still team to beat in MEL

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Gordon says Stewart could run strong in Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Peavy takes no-hitter into 8th of Giants’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Suzann Pettersen tied for Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bob Tway shoots 63 for share of Calgary lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
With heavy heart, Kuchar hovers around the lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Isner loses to Kohlschreiber in US Open 3rd round; Serena advances

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Bocce Federation League results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

Bouhanni wins 8th Vuelta stage, Valverde leads

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Fighter War Machine extradited on assault charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3, 1 Comment

Timberwolves have record week after trading Love

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Schumacher wins Traxxas Nitro Shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kevin Harvick dominates to win Atlanta Nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Stanford routs UC Davis 45-0 in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

College football Top 25

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Raiders cut Little, Ross to get to 53

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Champ Bailey, Michael Sam among NFL cuts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Jonathan Martin makes 49ers’ 53-man roster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

US dominates Finland 114-55 in basketball worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Ferguson fallout: A call for police ‘body cams’

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Earthquake insurance shunned by vast majority of Californians

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C1

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
.

Obituaries

Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

 
.

Comics