Preview: Croatia v Mexico

2014-06-23 12:53
Mario Mandzukic (AFP)

Cape Town - Croatia and Mexico are set to lock horns at Arena Pernambuco in a clash that holds the key to who will progress past from Group A.

The Croatians lost their opening World Cup match 2-1 against hosts Brazil but bounced back to thrash Cameroon 4-0 and set themselves up for a run at securing a place in the last 16.

Fortunately for the Croatians, they are in control of their own fate and will not have to depend on the result between the group's other sides.

The Mexicans, meanwhile, will be looking to keep their consistent record of progressing past the first round in tact by booking their fifth straight appearance in the last 16.

Mexico need to avoid defeat in order to progress to the Round of 16 which means Croatia will need to come out firing in order to seal the vital win and qualification.

They started the championships with a 1-0 victory over the group's whipping boys Cameroon and survived a Brazilian barrage to claim a 0-0 draw, largely thanks to goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa's heroics.

Ochoa has been included in Sport24's Team of the Tournament,so far XI. Click here to see who his teammates are.

They will once again be leaning on their goal-minder to produce similar form against the Croats, who have to put everything into their attack.

As things stand, El Tricolor have four points on the board, below leaders Brazil only on goal difference, while Croatia sit a further point adrift and Cameroon sit rock bottom and already out of the running for a top-two finish in the group.

The match kicks off at 10pm SA time and you can follow Sport24's LIVE and interactive match updates.

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