Mexico falls short yet again in the midst of yet another exciting FIFA World Cup. The World Cup is considered one of the biggest sports events in the World and the biggest event for the sport of soccer. With the absence of Team USA many have chosen to root for their CONCACAF League rivals while others chose to not watch or cheer on another nation. Mexico entered the tournament with a veteran group, hungry for the Cup. Mexico shocked the world in the opening round defeating international powerhouse and defending World Cup Champions Germany on Father’s day. From there, they took care of business against Korea 2-1. Mexico entered their third and final group stage matchup against Sweden. Although their energy was at such a high level and a major fan turnout for the team was there, Sweden’s offensive attack was just too much for Mexico’s defense to handle.
The three points put Mexico in trouble of not even qualifying to move on to the round of sixteen. Their fate was in South Korea’s hand. South Korea, not having a good tournament was the difference between Mexico advancing or Germany advancing into the next round. South Korea holding Germany late into the match, managed to score against their German opposition. Demanding for the goal to be checked for an offside call against the South Koreans in FIFA’s new VAR system. After looking at multiple angles on video replay, it was confirmed a goal. Having confusion on the call and for a long review, the extra time added was bumped from six minutes into extra time to nine. Although Germany made some late runs and close shots on goal, it was not enough as South Korea scored again in the final minute on any empty net. Mexico became friends and South Korea’s biggest fans.
Thanks to South Korea, Mexico would move on to face five time World Cup Champions Brazil. It was Seleção vs. El Tri. Mexico went out the gates in a hurry, with applied pressure on Thiago Silva and Brazil’s defense, led by twentytwo year old forward Hirving “Chucky” Lozano. Heading into halftime, multiple warnings were given by officials for rough play. Mexico’s defense started to give up multiple breakaway and scoring chances. Looking tired and figured out by their opposition, Mexico would have to figure out how to stop not only soccer star Neymar, but also how to get through Silva and Brazil’s defense. In the 51’ minute of the match Brazil launched a full on attack on Mexico’s defense leaving them outnumbered and leaving Mexico Goalkeeper Ochoa helpless. Neymar shoots and scores into Mexico’s bottom left post. With multiple yellow cards handed out throughout the second half of the match, the game was starting to get personal. Then, in the 88’ minute of the match Brazil scored again, this time it was Roberto Firmino. With eight minutes left in the match, Mexico’s hopes of breaking the quinto portido curse were diminishing. As the final whistle blew, Mexico would yet again lose in the Round of 16 this time at the hands of the Brazilian team. Although Mexico’s run is over, this team never gave up, and gave fans hope and even earned some famous American fans to cheer them on such as Oprah Winfrey and U.S. National team legend Landon Donovan. Now it’s time for Mexico fans to move on and look to the next World Cup in 2022 hosted by Middle Eastern country Qatar. Maybe the eighth will be the charm. Mexico’s next national team match will be a friendly against Uruguay September 7 then they’ll reignite their rivalry with USA in a friendly way on September 11.
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