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1. After the 1970 edition in Mexico, the World Cup took place in Mexico for the second time in 1986 (Colombia wasn't able to host it). This was Mexico's big chance to get far, since it was in our country, with our people, in our stadiums. But all of this wasn't enough to get Mexico past the quarter-finals. Which team beat Mexico in a penalty shootout to leave Bora Milutinovic's squad out of their own Cup, in 1986?
2. Mexico didn't even make it through the group stage at Italy 1990, but that would've been certainly difficult, as Mexico didn't even qualify! What was the reason behind the Mexican team not participating in the Italy 1990 World Cup?
3. USA 1994 World Cup - coach Miguel Mejia Baron was harshly criticized by some for the decisions he made. After a varied group stage, with a 1-0 loss against Norway, a 2-1 win over Ireland and a 1-1 tie with Italy, Mexico finished top of their group on goal difference. Bulgaria was the next opponent, in the round of 16. How was Mexico eliminated by Bulgaria from this World Cup?
4. France 1998 - Mexico drew a moderate group, with the Netherlands being the most difficult opponent. After a 3-1 win over South Korea, and two 2-2 ties against Belgium and Netherlands, Mexico finished second in their group behind The Netherlands to progress to the Round of 16 vs. Germany. Yes, Germany is a great country at soccer, but Mexico had the match in control for 75 minutes, leading 1-0 with a goal by Luis Hernandez in the 47th. Mexico was so full of hope! But then Jurgen Klinsmann scored the first goal for Germany. "That's fine, we still have extra time", many Mexicans thought. Sadly, all were proved wrong by which player, who scored the winning goal for Germany just 4 minutes before the end of the match?
5. Mexico had a bad time in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers, but coach Javier Aguirre rescued the team and led it to Korea/Japan. Mexico ended the group stage in the first place, after defeating Croatia and Ecuador, and tying with Italy. The next opponent was the United States, at the time not considered a difficult competitor, so many thought Mexico was already in the quarter finals. Surprise! Brian McBride and Landon Donovan scored the two goals that eliminated Mexico one more time. Which Mexican player, who subsequently became the first in history to captain a team in four different World Cups, was sent off during this match?
6. Germany 2006 showed a Mexican team in good shape. After beating Iran 3-1, tying with Angola 0-0, and losing 2-1 against Portugal, Mexico finished second in their Group behind Portugal and progressed to the Round of 16. An interesting game was expected against Argentina, and both teams had chances to win. Although the match was 1-1 after 10 minutes, no further goals were scored and the match went to extra time. In the 98th minute, Maxi Rodriguez kicked a tremendous volley, one of the best goals of the tournament, ending Mexico's hopes. Which goalkeeper painfully picked the ball out of the net after this goal?
7. South Africa 2010 represented a new opportunity for the Mexican team. Coach Javier Aguirre had again rescued the team after a process with several coaches. This time, his decisions were highly criticized, as many of the players he took were not in shape for a World Cup in the opinion of many. Regardless, the team achieved a decent group stage, by defeating France 2-0, tying with host South Africa 1-1 and losing against Uruguay 1-0. Mexico would be facing Argentina, also the opponents in the 2006 World Cup round of 16. If only Mexico did a better job and ended the group stage in the first place, which Asian team would've been the opponent?
8. South Africa 2010 - Argentina, commanded by Diego Maradona, beat Mexico 3-1 in the Round of 16, and crushed the team's hopes for a fifth match (a quarter-final). The first goal by Argentina should not have counted, as Carlos Tevez, the goal-scorer, was in a clear offside position; seen by everybody except for the referee and his assistant. Which Italian referee allowed this goal?
9. Following South Africa 2010, the Mexican Football Federation hired Jose Manuel de la Torre as its new coach. He was a great manager who had coached Mexican league teams to the championship, but his coaching of the national team wasn't good at all. When the executives fired "Chepo", it was too late, Mexico was about to miss qualification for the World Cup in Brazil 2014. They had finished fourth in the CONCACAF qualifiers and had to play-off against New Zealand, the winners of the Oceania qualifiers.
Miguel Herrera, who coached the best team in Mexico at that moment (America), was hired quickly, and with a core of Club America players, Mexico beat New Zealand 9-3 in the playoff (5-1 at home and 4-2 away). Everybody expected the worse for Mexico at Brazil 2014, however, the team surprised everyone and did a great job, to progress out of their group!
They ended up having to face the Netherlands in the round of 16, and the match was actually in Mexico's control, as strange as this sentence may read. At the 75th minute, with Mexico leading 1-0, the match was stopped. Why did Portuguese referee Pedro Proenša stop the match?
10. Brazil 2014 - Round of 16 - At the 87th minute of the Netherlands-Mexico match, a corner by The Netherlands fell at the feet of Wesley Sneijder, who showed no mercy and fired an incredibly powerful shot impossible for goalkeeper Ochoa to stop, changing the score to 1-1. Extra time beckoned ... but in the 93rd minute of the match, a Dutch player fell to the ground in the box and the referee awarded a penalty to The Netherlands. Some say he dived, some say he didn't but, regardless of this, which player fell to the ground, resulting in the penalty?
Source: Author Lpez
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