06/23/2014 05:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mexico Erupts For Late Goals To Defeat Croatia, Advance To Round Of 16 (VIDEOS/GIF)


The stakes were clear and so was the result.

Both Mexico and Croatia took the field at Arena Pernambuco in Recife on Monday knowing that a win would secure a spot the Round of 16. After a scoreless first half, El Tri surged past Croatia 3-1 to extend its stay at the 2014 World Cup as the runner-up in Group A.

A draw also would have been enough to send Mexico through to the Round of 16 and the cagey match seemed headed in that direction into its final half hour when a missed call by the referee seemed to spark the late scoring spurt. Referee Ravshan Irmatov missed what seemed to a blatant handball by Croatia defender Darijo Srna to block a shot by Mexico's Andres Guardado in the 64th minute.

(GIF via @FlyByKnite)

Guardado would soon be one of three players to score in a span of about 10 minutes as the mood of Mexico coach Miguel Herrera went from enraged to euphoric.

Croatia would pull back a goal in the 87th minute but could not recover from the Mexico onslaught. The 3-1 win clinched the runner-up spot in Group A for Mexico. Brazil, who also won on Monday, topped the group thanks to a superior goal differential. Both teams are heading for the Round of 16.

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PHOTOS: Mexico vs Croatia