Until Wednesday, Mexico and South Korea were enemies, standing in each other’s way of advancing out of Group F in the World Cup.
On Wednesday, however, they needed each other’s help.
Mexico couldn’t come through for the Koreans, falling 3-0 to Sweden in their final match of group play. This set El Tri up for elimination: A German victory over Korea would have knocked Mexico out in spite of a 2-1 record.
But despite their underdog status against the defending champions, the Koreans pulled out a 2-0 upset to eliminate Germany.
Germany had a glimmer of hope…
then South Korea scored twice in stoppage time. pic.twitter.com/3lFHRXsDuc
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 27, 2018
The long odds and Mexican fans’ reactions to South Korea’s victory made it, so far, the defining moment of the 2018 World Cup.
Because, around the world, Mexicans found Koreans to parade around like royalty.
Here it is happening in Russia.
The Mexicans found a South Korean outside the stadium pic.twitter.com/9gG7V9wtOd
— Siavoush Fallahi (@SiavoushF) June 27, 2018
Mexico fans going wild with Koreans right now pic.twitter.com/tPmdBVPlEV
— L-Dub Jay (@jaymunoz_) June 27, 2018
And back in Mexico, of course.
here’s a better clip lmao pic.twitter.com/hT83SrNlaG
— cassy (@AHNSYUJlN) June 27, 2018
— Adam Serrano (@AdamSerrano) June 27, 2018
I’d like to say that this — two nations that share relatively little contact coming together to celebrate soccer — is what FIFA has in mind when they slap the tournament together every year, but it’s not.
Still, it’s a hell of a moment, and the most memorable one of the event thus far.