Four-goal Gutierrez drives Mexico past Fiji in Olympics

Mexico's Erick Gutierrez (#15) celebrates with teammates after scoring one of his four goals in a Men's Olympic Football Tournament match against Fiji on August 7, 2016 in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

SALVADOR, Brazil – Erick Gutierrez scored four goals and Mexico (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) rallied for a 5-1 win over Fiji (0-0-2, 0) in the Men's Olympics Football Tournament on Sunday at the Itaipava Fonte Nova Arena.

With the win, the defending gold medalist finished the night sitting second on goal difference (+4 to +8) in Group C behind Korea Republic (1-1-0, 4), which drew 3-3 with Germany (0-2-0, 2).

Fiji took a 1-0 lead into halftime thanks Roy Krishna’s 11th minute header from outside the box off a long ball from Iosefo Verevou.

The Mexicans, though, emerged from the break with no desire to become victim of an upset and went to work immediately.

In the 48th minute, Gutierrez leveled from 14-yards out after receiving Carlos Cisneros’ feed from the right-goal line and firing into the right side of the net.

Gutierrez put the CONCACAF power ahead to stay in the 55th minute, when he controlled a clever pass from Oribe Peralta with his chest just inside the left side of the box. The Pachuca star let the ball bounce in front of him, before unleashing a left-footed shot from 12 yards that crashed off the left post before crossing the line.

Three minutes later, Gutierrez made it 3-0, rushing into the six-yard box to first-time a wonderfully squared ball by Cisneros.

Carlos Salcedo lunged home at the left post to extend the advantage in the 67th minute, after Peralta flicked on a right-sided corner kick.

The scoreline was punctuated at 5-1 in the 73rd minute as a result of a fluid sequence on the left side that saw Peralta touch a ball to a sprinting Gutierrez, who chipped over goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau with his left foot from 14 yards,

Mexico will complete group play on with an encounter with Korea Republic in Brasilia, while eliminated Fiji will take in Germany in Belo Horizonte.