As the host nation Brazil was automatically placed as team 1 in Group A, as favorites to top their group and indeed win the entire tournament, that left a single spot for one of 3 teams to advance to the knockout stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After losing their 1st 2 games Cameroon were certain of an early flight home. Would the Croatia football shirt or the Mexico soccer kit fight their way into the Round of 16?

The progression of Brazil wasn't as sure footed as many had suspected. They beat Croatia in an unconvincing 3-1 1st game, and only managed a 0-0 draw against the team wearing the Mexico football jerseys. Statistically both Mexico and Croatia could progress but it relied on Brazil being beaten heavily by Cameroon. An unlikely prospect, meaning both teams needed to go out to win.

Mexico Football Jerseys

Group A Prospects

As an independent soccer team Croatia has only competed in the World Cup since 1998. In this 1st appearance the Croatia football shirt put out a strong showing finishing in 3rd place, but have since failed to make it out of the group stage. The 2014 World Cup offered a fantastic opportunity for Croatia as the 2nd best team in the group as ranked by FIFA.

Croatia is currently ranked at 18th behind Brazil in 3rd place but ahead of Mexico and Cameroon ranked at 20 and 56 respectively. Prior to kickoff Croatia would have been boosted by the fact that the Mexico football jerseys nearly didn't make it into the World Cup finals at all.

After finishing 4th in the CONCACAF qualification tournament Mexico needed the intercontinental playoff round to finally secure their place. Mexico did indeed show their worth beating the New Zealand soccer team 9-3 on aggregate, and securing their position in Group A.

The Fight for 2nd Place

To ensure their place in the knockout stage both Mexico and Croatia needed to win, offering the fans the prospect of an explosive, goal filled festival of soccer. The game started slowly, with the dedicated, professional Mexico team happy to sit back and a wait their time. For the 1st 10 minutes the game seemed as though an opening goal would come from Croatia but Mexico have been strong defensively, going into the match with clean sheets from their 1st 2 games.

As the 1st half progressed Mexico made more openings and the game got more heated with plenty of pushing and shoving particularly around the goal areas, keeping the referee busy. But as the halftime whistle blew neither side had pressed the advantage and the score line remained 0-0.

Croatian coach Niko Kovac shuffled his players around during the break to try and break past the Mexican defense. However, it was Rafael Marquez captain of the Mexico football jerseys that scored the 1st goal of the game at 72 minutes. Many thought that the tiring Croatian team would slip and allow more goals through, and slip they did. Guardado and Hernandez hit the net once each within the next 10 minutes to make the score 3-0 to the Mexicans.

The many Mexico fans in the crowd and the team were ready to celebrate, but Croatia weren't ready to give up. In a final blow that did nothing to the end result the number 4 Croatia football shirt of Ivan Perisic broke through the Mexican defense to find the goal. Croatia may be going home but they are taking Mexico's clean sheet and good splattering of pride with them.

The Next Stage

As predicted Brazil beat Cameroon in a 4-1 soccer spectacle that was also worth watching. The result puts Mexico in 2nd place based on goal difference. Mexico will meet The Netherlands in the Round of 16 on 29th June at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. The game is already promising to be a good one. The team's both play in a similar style, which one will prove to be weaker? Only time will tell!

As for Croatia the team may be out but it's unlikely they are down. The team will return on 3rd September 2014 for their 1st UEFA European Championship qualifying game against Azerbaijan.

Whether you are supporting Mexico in the World Cup or are a fan of the Croatian soccer team you can shop for all your official team kits online at Soccer Box. True fans can order their Croatia football shirt here ready for Euro 2016 qualification.