Mexico has crashed out of the soccer World Cup in Russia after losing 2-0 to five-time champions Brazil in the southern city of Samara today.
After a scoreless first half, El Tri conceded its first goal in the 51st minute of the match before Brazil scored again in the 88th minute, ensuring that there would be no way for Mexico to force a draw and extend the match into extra time.
It was Mexico’s seventh consecutive loss in the first knockout round at the World Cup, meaning that once again the team failed to reach the elusive quinto partido, or fifth match.
In contrast, Brazil’s victory ensured its presence in the final eight of the tournament for the seventh time in a row.
“We lacked precision in moments when we could have done damage,” Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa said in a post-match television interview. Mexico had 13 shots at goal but only one really tested the Brazilian goalkeeper.
“I can’t be happy because Mexico isn’t progressing,” Ochoa said.
El Tri’s Colombian coach criticized the referee for his control of the match, charging that he had been overprotective of Brazilian players by calling fouls on Mexican players for what he saw as innocuous challenges.
“I think that the most important thing now is to take things calmly and carry out a meticulous analysis,” Juan Carlos Osorio said.
At a post-match press conference he said, “I would like to thank all of our fans. The support and love for the national team is amazing. I want to apologize for not reaching our target.”
For most analysts, Brazil was simply a superior team that outplayed its opponent today, especially in the final 45 minutes.
Tom Marshall, a reporter for ESPN who covers the Mexican team, wrote on Twitter shortly after the match that Brazil, with its “elite players at elite clubs,” was “simply too much” for El Tri.
He also said that “for a generation of Mexican players, this was the last opportunity to reach a World Cup quarter-final in their prime.”
Brazil, which last won the World Cup in 2002, will now line up in its quarter-final match against the winner of today’s second match between Belgium and Japan.
The team looked in good form today and it was Brazil’s Paris-based superstar and most famous player Neymar who scored the first goal while Roberto Firmino only had to tap the ball into the back of the net to secure victory.
For Mexico, the defeat is no doubt a big disappointment for a talented group of players and millions of fans around the country who, after a promising start to the tournament, had dared to dream that El Tri could go farther in Russia 2018 than the team had ever gone before.
But after wins over defending champions Germany and South Korea in the group stage, Mexico failed to score both in the defeat to Sweden in their final group match and again today.
With that, Mexico exits the World Cup at an all too familiar stage and will have to wait another four years until Qatar 2022 to have another shot at World Cup glory.
Mexico News Daily