It’s been a record that held firm for 44 years – Mexico has been eliminated in the group stage of a World Cup for the first time since 1978.
That year Mexico lost all three games, but that wasn’t the case this time around. El Tri opened the 2022 Qatar tournament with a 0-0 draw to Poland, then lost 2-0 to Argentina that brought the Group C finale down to the wire.
In the end, Mexico bowed out of Qatar on goal differential despite beating Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the finale while Poland lost 2-0 to Argentina. Poland’s net zero differential topped Mexico’s minus-one.
Here’s how fans reacted throughout Mexico’s thrilling contest, beginning with Henry Martín’s poacher’s finish inside the box.
Luis Chávez’s absurd long-distance free kick deservedly got shouts for being one of the best goals of the tournament.
Despite a 2-0 lead, Mexico faced the possibility of not advancing over Poland due to FIFA’s fair play rules, which came down to the yellow card differential between El Tri and the White-Reds (seven to five).
Perhaps the most disappointing outcome is that Mexico didn’t even get to debut its away kit in Qatar, which was lauded by many as one of the best designs. El Tri wore their green home kit for all three contests.
Here’s how fans reacted at the conclusion of the 2-1 affair.
Mexico also had the second-longest streak of advancing past the group stage and into the knockout rounds, but that came to an end with Brazil still leading the way in the category.