Devastation, grief and disappointment for millions of fans at the failure of México to break the round of 16 World Cup curse.
Over 300 fans gathered Fat Boys Taquería in north Fresno for every match played by El Tri in the World Cup in Russia. Lines formed outside before 5:30 am in time for the 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. kickoff from Russia, a 9-hour difference.
Despite the score for a 1-0 lead by Neymar, Jr., who was named FIFA Player of the Match, then Roberto Fermino’s goal for the eventual 2-0 victory, El Tri’s fans still cheered for the Mexican contingent that had high hopes for a World Cup campaign.
A starring lineup for México that included Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Andrés Guardado and goalie Guillermo Ochoa wasn’t enough to advance México to the quarterfinals. México goes home for the seventh-consecutive World Cup competition having not advanced past the round of 16.
According to FIFA, since the inception of the round of 16 in 1986, México has lost more than twice as much as any other nation.
“It was a good match, but in the second half, there was no flow. Too many fouls on Brazil, but Brazil still played a little bit better,” said Mexican fan Mickey López, of Fresno.
“You got to be here, we’re all for Mexicans. USA didn’t make it, so we got to support someone.”
México’s head coach Juan Carlos Osorio responded to the loss saying, “I believe the referee totally favored Brazil. It’s a shame for the sport to lose so much time on one single player.”
“Way too much stopping the match. Just let them play, you have to let Chicharito, and Neymar go, then you have a winner,” said Javier de la Torre, a Madera resident.
“This way, look, you have bad feelings.”
At the Sumara Stadium in Russia, Manuel Quintana and Adelina Vargas.
“Although we lost, we never stopped supporting the team! The atmosphere was just as great as the last games but there were less Mexican supporters compared to the previous games,” said Quintana from Samara, Russia.
“Both sides never stopped chanting, singing throughout the game. Many other Mexican and Russian supporters were screaming “Mexico , Mexico, Mexico.”
México defeated defending champion Germany in the opening World Cup match then South Korea, but was blanked 3-0 by Sweden. México finished in second place in Group F, while Brazil finished atop Group E.
In four prior World Cup meetings against México, the Brazilians have not given up a goal against the Mexicans and outscoring them 11-0 in those meetings, according to FIFA.
Brazil tied 1-1 with Switzerland in its World Cup opener before defeating Costa Rica and Serbia.
The Brazilians opponent in the quarterfinals (July 6) has yet to be determined.