South Korea are going to rely on maximum effort and the unpredictability of football when they look to stage an upset of defending champions Germany on Wednesday that could extend their stay at the World Cup.
After beating Germany, 1-0, and South Korea, 2-1, Mexico appeared to be cruising in Russian Federation, but it still faced the possibility of exiting if it lost to Sweden and Germany beat South Korea.
"It's very, very hard to put it into words", said Germany defender Mats Hummels, a member of the team that won in Brazil four years ago. "I believe we can do it..." "Even when it was 0-1, I think we kept trying to turn it all around".
But Sweden poured in three goals against them in the second half, not only putting themselves atop the group, but putting Mexico in danger of missing out on advancing altogether. South Korea had entered the day with slim hopes of advancing, but they depended on beating Germany and Sweden losing to Mexico.
Germany have become the third successive nation to follow a World Cup triumph with a group-stage exit.
Even in Yekaterinburg, almost 500 miles away, the Mexican fans expected Germany to score.
The Tottenham man had his moment of history with a breakaway second goal against Germany for South Korea, who return home with their heads held high.
Germany captain Manuel Neuer, Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist, Mexico captain Andrés Guardado and South Korea striker Son Heung-min.
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Poland crash out of World Cup after 0-3 loss to Colombia
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Sweden were on course for the last 16 until Toni Kroos stepped up with a wonderful victor in the fifth minute of injury time to rescue the reigning champions 2-1 in a Saturday-night thriller.
Besides Germany this year, France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014 were the previous defending champions to get eliminated in the group stage.
At one point on Tuesday it looked as if a penalty from Chelsea wing-back Moses was going to be enough to see the Super Eagles through to the last 16 - before Argentina's late victor ended their World Cup dream in St Petersburg.
Mexico was nearing the completion of a 3-0 loss to Sweden.
Former South Korea forward Ahn Jung-hwan, who scored the goal that knocked Italy out of the last 16 in 2002, said the result showed the unpredictability of the game. However, the Korean contingent had other ideas and fired in 2 goals in stoppage time.
Andres Guardado, who has been substituted after an hour of the first two matches, and Hector Herrera will be the two holding midfielders with Carlos Vela in front of them linking the midfielders to the attack. But they controlled this one.
"It would have been terrible to get all the way to this match with six points and not have qualified", Osorio said.
Switzerland 2, Costa Rica 2 - At Nizhny Novgorod, Russia: Switzerland qualified for the round of 16 despite twice losing the lead in a draw with Costa Rica, which had already been eliminated. It was my impression that the team were under pressure because the match of Sweden was at the same time.