El Tri beat reigning champions Germany in their opener and they were on their way to the knockouts early on when Carlos Vela put them ahead from the penalty spot after an inexcusable handball from Korea centre-back Jang Hyun-soo.
In an open and expansive game, both sides poured forward, Mexico in the hope of grabbing another goal that would aid their qualification to the knockouts, Korea in desperate search of a victory that would keep them in the tournament.
But it was the Central Americans who sealed the three points in the second half, Javier Hernandez netting a milestone 50th goal for his nation in his 105th cap.
Korea talisman Son Heung-min scored a stunning curling effort in stoppage time, but it proved in vain for the Taegeuk Warriors.
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