Vela, Hernandez lift Mexico to win over South Korea at World Cup

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Javier Hernández scored the second after 66 minutes, finishing off a rapid break.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia-There were plenty of teams to be afraid of at the start of this World Cup.

Javier Hernandez celebrates with Hirving Lozano after putting Mexico 2-0 up against South Korea.

Lozano fired high and wide of the South Korea crossbar early in the second period as Mexico continued to threaten, before Moon Seon-min had a strike blocked by Carlos Salcedo down the other end.

With the second goal Mexico tried to shut up shop by sending on the experienced Rafael Marquez for Guardado.

Andres Guardado, earning his 150th cap, tried to cross from the left and when Jang Hyun Soo went to ground raising his arm to stop the ball for a clear penalty.

Son Heung-min's stunning long-range effort in stoppage time gave South Korea a glimmer of hope but it was too little too late.

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The South Koreans managed successive counterattacks by targeting striker Son Heung-min but caused few problems for Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Chicharito bagged his 50th goal in global play on a counter-attack led by breakout star Hirving Lozano - but Mexico was only able to score because referee Milorad Mazic allowed play to continue after Hector Herrera fouled Ki Sung-yueng to gain possession.

South Korea had been pegged back from the first whistle.

If Germany fails to win, Mexico locks up a spot in the round of 16. Defender Edson Alvarez replaced Hugo Ayala at the back.

However, Jang Hyun-soo's handball gave referee Milorad Mazic little choice but to point to the spot - the number of penalties awarded in Russian Federation consequently surpassing the 13 across the entirety of the previous World Cup - and Vela, who announced the death of his grandfather following the win over Germany, converted.

If Germany lose to Sweden in the evening's Group F game at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi then Joachim Löw's side will be out.

The 20-year-old Alvarez, one of Mexico's hottest prospects, replaces Hugo Ayala.

Mexico will finish their group-stage campaign against Sweden on June 27, while South Korea face the world champions Germany on the same day.