FIFA World Cup 2002 Group G
Wins in their two opening games ensured Mexico of a place in the Round of 16 where they were joined by Italy who scraped through thanks to a draw against the Mexicans in their final group fixture. After beating Italy in their second game, Croatia looked well set for the next phase but they were surprisingly beaten by Ecuador in the final round of games.
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Mexico 1 Croatia 0
Nigata Big Swan Stadium, Nigata (32,239)
3 June 2002
Mexico dominated possession in an otherwise even match that was short of chances. The decisive goal was scored by Blanco from a penalty following an incident that saw Boris Živković sent off.
Italy 2 Ecuador 0
Sapporo Dome, Sapporo (31,081)
3 June 2002
Two first half goals from Vieri set Italy on their way. Although the match started at a high pitch, once Italy had secured a two goal lead, they were never in danger of losing control while Ecuador lacked the confidence to take the game to their opponents.
Croatia 2 Italy 1
Kashima Soccer Stadium, Ibaraki (36,472)
8 June 2002
Vieri put Italy ahead ten minutes into the second half having had a goal controversially disallowed five minutes earlier for offside. Italy had the ball in Croatia's net again from a free kick but the referee spotted Inzaghi tugging an opponent's shirt and disallowed it. In the second half Croatia came back strongly while Italy failed to up their game. Two goals in three minutes (73', 76') gave Croatia an historic win.
Mexico 2 Ecuador 1
Miyagi Stadium, Miyagi (45,610)
9 June 2002
With five minutes played, Delgado gave Ecuador a surprise lead. Borgetti levelled the score in the 28th minute and 12 minutes into the second half Torrado put Mexico ahead and they held on until the final whistle.
Mexico 1 Italy 1
Ōita Big Eye Stadium, Ōita (39,291)
13 June 2002
With five minutes remaining Italy were trailing in the knowledge that if Croatia managed an equaliser in Yokohama they could be out. Del Piero then scored, which meant that Italy's superior goal difference left Croatia needing to win their game to go through.
Ecuador 1 Croatia 0
International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
13 June 2002
If Croatia expected an easy ride against the unfancied Ecuador team they were in for a shock. In the 48th minute Ecuador's captain, Hernán Gómez put his team into the lead. The teams were evenly matched and Croatia could not find the goal. When Italy scored a late equaliser, the Croats were faced with the impossible task of scoring twice in the last five minutes to win the match and qualify for the next round.