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Here's The Moment Mexico-Croatia Went From Soccer Match To Fiesta

So Mexico stomped Croatia and Brazil stomped Cameroon, which saved us from breaking out our graphing calculators to accurately compute the more esoteric World Cup tiebreakers. Nonetheless, both matches had a lot riding on them even into the final moments.

Mexico didn't give themselves any breathing room—a win or a draw would've been good enough to see them into the next round—until the 72 minute, when old man Rafa Márquez's set-piece header gave them a 1-0 lead. Until then, a Croatia goal could've ended their time in Brazil.


The counterattacking blast from Andrés Guardado in the video above is when the Mexicans finally let their hair down. After winning back the ball from Croatia, Héctor Herrera played the ball to Oribe Peralta on the right wing, who hit a first time pass to Javier Hernández. Chicharito starting running down the middle of the pitch before returning the ball to Peralta on the wing. Peralta sent in a cross that slid behind Hernández and right into the path of a sprinting Guardado from the opposite flank, who side-footed the ball into the back of the net. The fans erupted, the players rejoiced, and Miguel Herrera—well, if he didn't quite go Super Saiyan, he at least went kaio-ken x10.

But Mexico's opponents weren't ready to roll over just yet. Right after the goal, Croatia responded when Ante Rebić dribbled right through a flat-footed Mexican defense seemingly more interested in which club they were hitting tonight than with stopping a Croatian attack. From just outside the 6 yard box, Rebić slotted past Guillermo Ochoa for what would've been a certain goal, if not for Héctor Moreno channeling his inner David Luiz to clear the ball off the line.


The Mexicans had a laugh about the whole ordeal, then proceeded to get right back in that ass by scoring another goal in the 82 minute. For a while it looked like Mexico were going to catch Brazil on goal difference and top the group, but a Croatian consolation goal and another Brazilian one erased that possibility.

Regardless, Mexico have good reason to party. In a tournament they shouldn't even be in, in a group that was criminally accommodating, buoyed by a point they barely got, El Tri capitalized on every opportunity and look strong going forward. If the U.S. don't advance after that, I don't even know.



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