A little sporting excitement in Mexico

Posted on November 13, 2013 

President Enrique Pena Nieto, wearing a tan jacket, and some of his aides jump out of their seats Wednesday at Los Pinos while watching Mexico's soccer team score a goal against New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Mexico's presidential office.

TIM JOHNSON

Mexico practically came to a standstill Wednesday afternoon as the national soccer team played a must-win qualifying match against New Zealand.

If you have any doubts about the emotion at stake, just check out the photo. That’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, his wife Angelica Rivera and some aides at Los Pinos, the presidential residence, as they watch Mexico score a goal in the match. Nearly everyone leapt in the air in excitement.

Mexico’s squad stomped New Zealand 5-1, virtually guaranteeing them a trip to Brazil next summer for the World Cup, the globe’s most popular sporting event.

The two nations face off again in Wellington, New Zealand next Wednesday. But unless the All Whites beat Mexico with a goal differential greater than four goals, Mexico will be going to Brazil. 

This New Zealand Herald story called the match the “Massacre at the Azteca,” in reference to the massive soccer stadium in Mexico City, which was packed with 105,000 roaring fans.

Just a few weeks ago, Mexico's chances of qualifying seemed to nearly slip away. Mexico came in fourth in the six-nation qualifying tournament, scoring only seven goals and barely squeaking into the wild card slot against New Zealand.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service