Mexico scored just over three seconds for their 3-2 victory over South Korea in Austria on Saturday, a game that was threatened with cancellation after six South Korean players scored a positive COVID 19 just hours before the game.
Hwang Ui-jo led the Korean Republic in the 20th minute after getting a cross for Seon Heung Min, but it was against the game because Mexico’s chances were unchanged in the first 45 minutes.
El Tri stayed ahead in the second half, while Korea tried to score in the second half, but Mexico eventually managed to win with three quick goals.
Raúl Jiménez reached 67th place from the flank of the Orbelin Pineda. Two minutes later the submarine Uriel Antuna was in the net and Carlos Salcedo finished the Mexican race in 70th place.
The Korean Republic of Kwon Kyung-won scored a corner and left the stadium three minutes before the nervous end for Mexico, which has now won 18 of Gerardo Tata Martino’s 21 games.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Mexico found a nervous victory over South Korea from Christian Hofer/Getty Pictures
I’m glad. I always say the same thing, we arrive with the goal, Martino said after the match. The most important thing is that we have created chances against the Five, which works well, puts pressure quickly and makes it difficult to play between the lines.
Hirving Lozano missed close up and hit the post from the corner, while Jesus Tekatito Corona also saved two first half chances when Mexico dominated.
The son was a constant source of danger for the Koreans, who were constantly looking for transit bullets behind the Mexican defence line.
In the second half Hwang had the best chance after being sent to Son with an hour to go, but Mexican goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez saved the day.
The result was well deserved for Mexico in 90 minutes, although El Tri looked hesitant in the defense.
The game was called into question after the Korean Football Association announced early Saturday morning that Kwon Chang-hun, Hwang In-boom, Lee Dong-jung, Cho Hyun-woo and a staff member had tested positive for the coronavirus.
We’ll take all the necessary precautions. Martino said we passed two COVID tests during the week of our trip [to Europe]. Fortunately, they were all negative in the delegation. We know that the situation is difficult, that there are risks, we know that the players go back to their clubs and play important games.
The whole South Korean team was tested again in the morning and two other players, Kim Moon Hwan and Na Sang-ho, came back with a positive result.
Both associations have agreed to organise the match, referring to FIFA and UEFA rules, according to which the association may continue the match as long as the teams have a total of 13 players.
Football evolves, we have to take care of our players and get them back to a place as safe as possible, but we understand that it is a difficult time and that unfortunately anything can happen, added Martino.
Mexico will play Tuesday with Japan and South Korea with Qatar, both also in Austria.