Two second-half goals helped Mexico prevail 2-0 over Japan to claim second place in Group B, sending the Asian side home without a win. Mexico took advantage of Brazil's loss to Switzerland to claim a Round of 16 match-up against the second-placed team in Group F, currently held down by Korea Republic.
In a first-half of few opportunities, both teams attempted to attack but failed to be effective in the final third. Takashi Usami had Japan's first opening on 27 minutes with an effort from outside the penalty area which flew narrowly wide of the post. Five minutes later it was Mexico's chance to strike but Abraham Coronado's cross from the right was ballooned over by Carlos Campos.
As in the first two matches, the Japanese played well, creating a number of good chances, but failing to convert. The best of these fell to their most dangerous attacking outlet, Takumi Miyayoshi, whose right-footed effort struck the crossbar.
There followed a number of one-on-one openings on goal, only for Mexican custodian Jose Rodriguez to repel the efforts of Miyayoshi, Takashi Usami and Gaku Shibasaki. Mexico then exacted full toll on Japan's profligacy by scoring a match-ending double inside 14 minutes.
Campos tried his luck and scored the opener with a high effort that captain Yasuhiro Watanabe was powerless to stop. Then it was the turn of Carlos Parra, who got on the end of a free-kick to head over Watanabe.
Despite scoring five goals in their opening two matches Japan go home without claiming a point. Mexico, meanwhile, showed their resiliance to recover from an opening loss to Switzerland to record consecutive wins over Brazil and now Japan and march confidently into the knockout stage.