OBRIGADO: Thanks for following along this extertaining Group A finale, where Mexico beat Croatia 3-1 in a wild one in Recife. Meanwhile, Brazil took down Cameroon 4-1 in Brasilia, handing the top spot in the group to the hosts. Brazil will play Chile in Belo Horizonte on Saturday, while Netherlands meet Mexico in Fortaleza on Sunday in our first Round of 16 match-ups. We'll have plenty more coverage from today's games on our daily tournament blog, so please join us there as we wrap up Monday's matches.
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has been elected Man of the Match
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FULL TIME: A flurry of goals - four in 22 minutes - plus a late sending off seals a frentic finish to this match in Recife, and the Mexico supporters are loving it. The final result sees El Tri move on to the Round of 16, along with Group A winners Brazil, who beat Cameroon 4-1, while Croatia are elminated.
GOOD SAVE: Ochoa denies Perisic a second goal! The No4 volleys and Mexico's goalkeeper does very well to keep it out.
It's all gone wrong for the Europeans, and now that they're a man down and with only a few minutes remaining it looks like their World Cup is coming to a close.
Ante Rebic is shown a straight red after taking out Hector Moreno
GOAL! Ivan Perisic pulls one back for Croatia, though it's likely too little too late for the Vatreni. The No4 calmly finished into the side netting past a helpless Ochoa, which is the first goal he's allowed all tournament.
CAMEROON 1-4 BRAZIL
Fernandinho adds to Brazil's lead
GOAL: #CMR 1-4 #BRA @fernaoficial puts the five-time world champions further ahead #joinin #worldcup #CMRBRA – http://t.co/rHgKoZgJ4r— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 21:43
Mexico show no sign of letting up and the El Tri support are encouraging them to continue forward!
GOAL! Chicharito makes it three for El Tri! Herrera's corner is a good one as Hector Moreno flicks on to Hernandez who nods home at the back post.
Peralta waves to the crowd and encourages more support from the Mexican fans as Carlos Pena takes his place on the pitch.
Hector Moreno clears off the line! Ante Rebic makes a great into the box but El Tri's No15 keeps him off the scoresheet.
Precision when it matters most. #predatorinstinct #allin or nothing #WorldCup http://t.co/oGnPnRws4p— adidasfootball (@adidasfootball) 23/06/2014 21:35
GOAL! Just like that Mexico double their lead! Andres Guarado is at the end of a lightning quick counter-attack, taking advantage of Croatia's numbers forward and now Mexico firmly have a foot in the Round of 16.
Don't forget to vote for your man of the match - who's had the most impact today?Vote for your Man of the Match
Croatia are throwing everything forward to find an equaliser now with three centre forwards all ready to attack, but that of course leaves them vulnerable in the back.
I have to admit it. I really, really - want Mexico to go through now. Let's again meet, in one of the finals down here!— Mix Diskerud (@Mix Diskerud) 23/06/2014 21:31
GOAL! Mexico's captian heads home! Rafael Marquez jumps the highest to direct Herrera's corner into the net.
Kovac makes a second subtitution and brings on the Fiorentina striker.
GOOD SAVE: Aguilar is denied by Pletikosa! The Rostov keeper's feet kept it out.
That's Vasquez's second caution of the Group Stage and he will be forced to miss the Round of 16 should El Tri go though.
CORLUKA CLEARS! Herrera's corner looked to be bending in to the side netting but Croatia's No5 saves the day and clears off the line.
Miguel Herrera brings on the Manchester United forward for the Villareal man.
Croatia coach Niko Kovac makes an attack-minded switch, bringing in the Inter Milan man in favour of the Genoa defender.
Mexico are starting to take over and some good passing leads to another corner after Herrera's effort is deflected out.
Francisco Rodriguez makes a poor clearance near Mexico's goal and Croatia look to capitalise but cannot get a shot off.
CAMEROON 1-3 BRAZIL
Fred scores quickly after the second half starts.
GOAL: #CMR 1-3 #BRA @fredgol9 gives A Seleção some breathing space from close range #joinin #worldcup #CMRBRA – http://t.co/rHgKoZgJ4r— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 21:08
Croatia start the half on the front foot, keeping Mexico pinned back in their own half but nothing has come of it so far.
Croatia kick us off to start the second half. No substitutions have been made at the break.
The teams make their way back out to the field, ready to start the second half.
Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is the only custodian to keep two clean sheets during the first two Group Stage matches at Brazil 2014.
HALF-TIME: A tense half filled with tough tackles ends goalless. Croatia and Mexico both had a few good chances but couldn't capitalise, and now the final 45 minutes must separate the two teams. As it stands, with this game 0-0 and Brazil beating Cameroon 2-1, Brazil and Mexico would go through if the scores remain the same.
Voting is now open for your man of the match - who's caught your eye today?Vote for your Man of the Match
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HT: #CMR 1-2 #BRA @neymarjr brace gives Scolari's side the edge, despite Matip strike #joinin #worldcup #CMRBRA – http://t.co/rHgKoZgJ4r— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 20:47
Guardado comes in with a hard challenge on Srna, which the Croatian No11 doesn't appreciate and the two share some words before the referee intervenes.
Paul Aguilar flicks on Herrera's corner. Hector Moreno and Pletikosa go up for the ball but Mexico's captain is whistled for the foul.
Mexico look strong on another attack. This time Miguel Layun unleashes a shot but Vedran Corluka blocks the shot and clears for a corner.
HIGH: Srna's free-kick looks dangerous as it's dipping but it's too high to begin with and misses high.
Mexico's captain slides in from behind to bring down Perisic, halting a Croatian corner kick and El Tri's No4 earns a yellow.
Mexico earn another corner after strong build-up on the left.
CAMEROON 1-2 BRAZIL
Neymar's second goal of the game puts Brazil back in the lead.
GOAL: #CMR 1-2 #BRA @neymarjr puts the hosts’ back in front #joinin #worldcup #CMRBRA – http://t.co/rHgKoZgJ4r— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 20:34
FIRST ACTION FROM RECIFE
PHOTO: #BRA's @neymarjr scores 100th goal of this #worldcup, before #CMR equalise with No101 - http://t.co/rHgKoZgJ4r http://t.co/YC1aWf0OMf— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 20:33
Jose Juan Vasquez takes a speculative effort from distance but misses well high and wide of the mark.
Now it's Perisic's turn to shoot, but he misses high as well.
CAMEROON 1-1 BRAZIL
Joel Matip equalises for the Indomitable Lions
GOAL: #CMR 1-1 #BRA Joel Matip levels things up at the Estadio Nacional #joinin #worldcup #CMRBRA – http://t.co/rHgKoZgJ4r— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 20:27
Croatia's No3 has a good look on goal and opts to shoot. He strikes it well but misses high.
Don't forget, you can now take part in the Kick-Off Ball Contest!Take the quiz now, win the kick-off ball!
Srna puts in another good cross but Guillermo Ochoa is up to the task and punches clear.
Peralta is played in and as he goes to shoot the No19 loses his footing and Pletikosa watches the ball go out for a goal-kick.
CAMEROON 0-1 BRAZIL
Neymar scores Brazil 2014's 100th goal and puts the hosts in the lead.
GOAL: #CMR 0-1 #BRA @neymarjr opens the scoring with a sidefooted effort #joinin #worldcup #CMRBRA – http://t.co/rHgKoZgJ4r— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 20:17
WHAT A CHANCE! Mexico build-up out of the back and after some great possession Hector Herrera hits a thunderous striker that looks destined for the top corner but it smashes of the bar. He had Stipe Pletikosa beat, but the woodwork saved the Croatian keeper.
Darijo Srna whips in a bending cross that finds Perisic but his header is well wide.
Croatia build a quick counter-attack as Mario Mandzukic plays to Ivan Perisic. The No4 serves in a nice cross but the Croatian forwards aren't in the area yet. Marquez plays it safe, however, and clears for a corner kick.
Luka Modric receives some medical attention after clashing heads with Rafael Marquez, and play resumes as he temporarily steps off the field.
Croatia's No7 is the latest to slide in with a hard challenge and he finds his way into the referee's book.
This is an agressive start for both sides in Recife, with several fouls accumulated for both teams early on.
Mexico's support in the Arena Pernambuco is overwhelming. There are small pockets of Croatian fans but the noise created by El Tri's fans early on is nothing short of impressive
An early battle here between Croatia's Vedran Corluka and Mexico's Oribe Peralta. El Tri's No19 commits the foul here but that is unlikely the last time we'll see these two clash tonight.
Mexico kick off to start in Recife, wearing their traditional green kit.
Mexico captain Rafael Marquez is playing in his 15th World Cup match. That is one less than Croatia's all-time World Cup appearances.
And now it's El Tri's turn as the Himno Nacional Mexicano plays and echoes throughout the Arena Pernambuco. There's some tremendous Mexican support in the stands and both fans and players alike are singing along.
Croatia's national anthem, Lijepa Nasa Domovino, is the first to be played and the Vatreni are proudly singing.
These are the most-popular line-ups chosen by FIFA.com users.
1 Stipe PLETIKOSA, 2 Sime VRSALJKO, 3 Danijel PRANJIC, 4 Ivan PERISIC, 5 Vedran CORLUKA, 6 Dejan LOVREN, 7 Ivan RAKITIC, 8 Ognjen VUKOJEVIC, 10 Luka MODRIC, 9 Nikica JELAVIC, 17 Mario MANDZUKIC
13 Guillermo OCHOA, 2 Francisco RODRIGUEZ, 4 Rafael MARQUEZ, 15 Hector MORENO, 22 Paul AGUILAR, 6 Hector HERRERA, 18 Andres GUARDADO, 21 Carlos PENA, 23 Jose VAZQUEZ, 10 Giovani DOS SANTOS, 19 Oribe PERALTA
GROUP A STANDINGS
A reminder of how things look presently in Group A. Croatia can reach the Round of 16 with a win. They can also advance if they draw Mexico and Cameroon beat Brazil. Mexico can move on with a win or a draw.
These Mexico fans are ready to cheer on El Tri!
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Today's referee is Uzbekistan's Ravshan Irmatov
RAFAEL MARQUEZ, MEXICO CAPTAIN
“This is our biggest game. We know we have to keep the momentum going. We worked so hard in our last two games and we don’t want to throw it all away against Croatia."
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NIKO KOVAC, CROATIA COACH
"The match against Mexico will be like a final... Mexico are strong, but so are we. The Mexico players are very patriotic, just like us, and they have a great team spirit. They play some aggressive football with a lot of pressing. They are strong going forward, but also have some weaknesses in defence, like Brazil showed us."
TEN ON TEN
A look at the jerseys for the No10 from each team, Croatia's Luka Modric and Mexico's Giovani dos Santos.
MOTM: Standout performers from #WorldCup Group B's final games: #ESP's @Guaje7Villa & #NED's Arjen Robben http://t.co/B2CY5Ac7pw— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 19:30
DID YOU KNOW?
The 2002 meeting between Croatia and Mexico was the first of six World Cup matches played by current Croatia coach Nico Kovac.
MEXICO IN DEPTH
Take a look at El Tri's team profile and discover more about football in Mexico.
CROATIA IN DEPTH
Take a look at the Vatreni team profile and discover more about football in Croatia
Play World Cup Predictor!World Cup Predictor
HEAD TO HEAD:
The sides have squared up on three previous occasions and Croatia lead the head-to-head series by two victories to one. However, both of the Europeans’ victories were in friendly matches, whereas Mexico won the only competitive fixture, 1-0 in the 2002 World Cup courtesy of a penalty from Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
The starting XIs for the two teams have been announced!
#CRO LINE-UP: Pletikosa, Vrsaljko, Pranjic, Perisic, Corluka, Lovren, Rakitic, Modric, Srna, Mandzukic, Olic #CROMEX #WorldCup #joinin— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 19:09
#MEX LINE-UP: Ochoa, Rodriguez, Marquez (c), Herrera, Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado, Peralta, Aguilar, Vazquez #CROMEX #WorldCup— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) 23/06/2014 19:09
Hello and thank you for joining us for the conclusion of Brazil 2014's Group A. Three teams are gunning for a spot in the Round of 16, but only two can progress. Croatia and Mexico are two of the three, with hosts Brazil being the other, so we should be in for a splendid match in Recife. So, stay with us here as we bring you the minute-by-minute action from the Arena Pernambuco, along with important updates from Cameroon-Brazil, which kicks off at the same time from the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.
Arena Pernambuco, Recife