Mexico Still Unbeaten - Wins Group G; Italy Survives Scare to Advance
In a wide-open Group G, Mexico and Italy played to a 1-1 draw, while Ecuador posted its first-ever World Cup win by defeating Croatia, 1-0.
CROATIA 0-1 ECUADOR
Ecuador posted its first-ever World Cup win, defeating Croatia 1-0 on a goal by Edison Mendez in the opening minutes of the second half.
Croatia nearly took the lead before halftime as Alen Boksic came close on two chances in the last ten minutes of the first half.
The goal came in the 48th minute as Mendez took a pass from Agustin Delgado in the box and fired past Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa to give Ecuador the lead.
As the match neared its finish, Croatia nearly equalized as Mario Stanic headed a corner kick on goal in the 87th minute, only to have it cleared off the line by a defender.
MEXICO 1-1 ITALY
A late goal by substitute Alessandro Del Piero earned Italy a 1-1 draw with Mexico, giving both teams a place in the Round of 16.
Mexico had taken the lead in the first half as Jared Borgetti scored his second goal of the tournament. Borgetti took a pass from Cuauhtemoc Blanco and touched his head on it as he ran toward the left post. The ball spun back across the goal mouth and snuck inside the right post, leaving goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon motionless.
The draw gives Mexico first in the group with seven points, while Italy sneaks in with four points. A Croatia win over Ecuador would have eliminated Italy. Mexico will face the second-place team from Group D in the Round of 16. Italy will face the winner of Group D - Korea, Portugal or the United States - in its next match.