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Brazil must overcome 'Mexican curse' to win the WC

Brazil's World Cup title hopes rely on ending coincidence involving Mexico

July 5, 2018 By Oscar Rojas
Beating Mexico wasn't that hard for Brazil, but ending a jinx related to those teams that eliminate El Tri in WC games might be.

Mexico and Brazil are the only teams that have made it past the group stage in the eight most recent FIFA World Cups, but El Tri hasn't been as lucky when it comes to winning that first KO game. Curiously enough, these teams met against each other last Monday, and Brazil's victory over El Tri could very well be the end of their World Cup title hopes.

History plays a major role in this game, and Mexico's so-called curse in the Round of 16 also touches those teams that eliminate them. Since 1994, the year in which they lost their first Round of 16 clash abroad, none of El Tri's executioners have made won the FIFA World Cup title. Furthermore, none of them have even made it to the final.

Let's have a look back at what happened during Mexico's eliminations and the fate lived by those that ousted them.

Mexico 1(1) - (3)1 Bulgaria(1994) - Not even the legendary Hugo Sánchez could help Mexico break the Round of 16 wall, as El Tri was defeated by Hristo Stoichkov's Bulgaria after an excruciating penalty shootout. Bulgaria's run in the competition ended in the semi-finals, where they were beaten by Italy.

Mexico 1-2 Germany (1998) - Mexico bottled a one-goal lead in the last ten minutes of these game, as Luis Hernández's opening goal was cancelled by Klinsmann's clinical strike and Oliver Bierhoff's header. Die Mannschaft's WC hopes wouldn't last long, as Croatia kicked them out of the competition in the next stage.

Mexico 0-2 USMNT (2002) - This is considered by most Mexican experts as the worst defeat in World Cup history for El Tri, as their bitter rival eliminated them in authoritative fashion. The Stars and Stripes would only go on to face Germany, where a lonely goal by Michael Ballack eliminated them from the competition.

Mexico 1-2 Argentina (2006) - Once again, Mexico bottled an early lead while walking out of the competition. Márquez's opening goal wasn't enough for them, as an own goal by Jared Borgetti and a massive goal by Maxi Rodríguez sealed their fate. Argentina would go on to lose after penalties against Germany in the Quarter final stage.

Mexico 1-3 Argentina (2010) - Contrary to the previous entry, Argentina dominated Mexico right from the start. Tévez's brace and Higuaín's goal after a blatant mistake ended Mexico's hopes, who scored their consolation goal thanks to Chicharito. Eventually, Argentina's fate would be the same as in the 2006 World Cup, because Germany kicked them out of the tournament with a 4-0 blowout.

Mexico 1-2 Netherlands (2014) - This game still haunts Mexican fans all over the world. Wesley Sneijder made it 1-1 with two minutes left in regulation, and Arjen Robben's diving antics caused the hashtag #NoEraPenal ("Not a Penalty") to become a trending topic for days. The Oranje would eventually see their title hopes fade against Argentina, who eliminated them in the semi-finals.

Mexico 0-2 Brazil (2018) - Mexico was able to put up a fight in the first 45 minutes, but Neymar's magic was too much for El Tri to handle, as PSG's ace scored one and set up the other for A Canarinha's win. 

So, there you have it. Will Brazil put an end to the "Mexican jinx"? Belgium, Uruguay and France will have the final word.



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