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World Cup 2014

Football: Mexico down Croatia to set up Dutch date

Published on Jun 24, 2014 6:39 AM

RECIFE, Brazil (AFP) - Veteran Mexico captain Rafael Marquez helped set up a last-16 clash against the Netherlands by finishing second in Group A after Monday's 3-1 win over ten-man Croatia, who exited the World Cup.

Mexico needed just to avoid defeat in Recife to take their place in the knockout phase, but three goals in ten second-half minutes killed off Croatia's hopes.

The Mexicans needed more than an hour to break the deadlock at the Arena Pernambuco before the floodgates finally burst.

Marquez scored with a header on 72 minutes before Andres Guarado grabbed Mexico's second and substitute Javier Hernandez netted a third in quick succession to book their Dutch showdown on Sunday in Fortaleza.

Mexico's Rafael Marquez celebrates scoring his team's first goal against Croatia during their 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife on June 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
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