Mexico's Giovani dos Santos celebrates after scoring a penalty against Gabon during their men's Group B football match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the City of Coventry Stadium July 29, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo)
Mexico brought themselves one step closer to the semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Gabon Sunday.
The catalyst for their victory was superstar Giovanni Dos Santos who started the match on the bench.
The opening 45 minutes were equal as both teams traded opportunities at the end. Gabon exerted their physical style to create their chances while El Tri used their skill to create their own. Mexico controlled possession but Gabon looked dangerous with their speed on the counterattack.
Like Us on Facebook
At the start of the second half, Dos Santos finally made his appearance; twenty minutes before he had come on the pitch in the first match against Korea. As in the Korea match, he made a huge difference. Mexico immediately looked more aggressive and Gabon started to sit back and attempt to minimize the superstar's space. But it made no difference.
In the 63rd minute, Dos Santos took an Oribe Peralta feed and gave Mexico a 1-0 lead. Gabon rallied with a plethora of opportunities but did not capitalize. In waning moments, Henry Ndong received a second yellow card for roughing Peralta in the penalty area. Dos Santos used the subsequent penalty kick to double his team's score and secure their victory.
The win gives Mexico four points and ties them with Korea for the group lead. A tie puts them through to the quarter-finals and a win gives them the top spot in the group. A loss could put them in jeopardy of elimination however. Gabon must win against Korea by three goals and hope for a Mexican win or draw to ensure passage.