South Korea vs Mexico Preview: El Trí look to advance while Taegeuk Warriors push to keep their hopes alive

South Korea vs Mexico Preview: El Trí look to advance while Taegeuk Warriors push to keep their hopes alive

How will the Mexicans fare after their upset win over Germany? Can the South Koreans bounce back to keep their chances of reaching the last 16 alive?

Noel John Alberto

One of the two Group F showdowns of the 2018 FIFA World Cup taking place Saturday will be between Mexico and South Korea. Each team is coming off different results in their opener, but each side knows that a vital three points will be needed from this game. 

Mexico upset Germany in their group opener thanks to Hirving Lozano's goal. The upset was so big, that it caused seismic activity in Mexico City. South Korea, on the other hand, looked out of it mostly in their game against Sweden

Kim Min-woo took out Sweden's Viktor Claesson in the box, and VAR helped call the penalty. Sweden's captain Andreas Granqvist calmly slotted the penalty to down the Asian side.

Mexico must keep the pressure up

Mexico National Team manager Juan Carlos Osorio got the tactics spot on in his side's win against Germany. They started lively on the attack before soaking up the pressure from the Germans. They hit Germany on the counter on their goal and kept a strong defensive shape as well as relying on 2014 World Cup hero Guillermo Ochoa to make sure nothing went into the back of the net.

This time around, Mexico will be the favorites and should be the side putting the pressure on the Koreans. Should they attack and find the back of the net early on, it'll allow them to sit back and put pressure on South Korea to force their hand. 

South Korea need to attack

The Taegeuk Warriors looked anything but lively in their game against Sweden, and it's because they got their tactics wrong in this game. The Koreans were playing for a draw against a defensive-minded team like Sweden which should have been their last resort.

With their last group game being against Germany, the Koreans needed to be aggressive and play for three points. Their lack of energy and unwillingness to attack cost them this game as they conceded a penalty in the middle of the second half, forcing them to play catch up the rest of the way. 

Korea's key player is Son Heung-min. The Tottenham Hotspur star needs to get going in this game. He managed one shot on target last game, and it came in the dying minutes of the game. As the talisman and the team's best offensive threat, he needs the proper service and creativity around him to give him and his country a shot at winning this game.