The World Cup is less than three months away. What better excuse to fish out and share my favorite World Cup memories?
After drawing with the hosts, South Africa, in the opening match of the 2010 World Cup, Mexico needed to beat the French to keep pace with Uruguay and make it to the next round.
From what I remember, and no I had not been drinking, it was very boring early on. But the excitement finally Turned Up after the hour mark. Rafa Marquez, caught the French back sleeping and sprung Javier Hernandez into a 1×1 against Hugo Lloris.
It was such a typical Chicharito gol, that I knew he would somehow make it and miss the shot at the same time. In typical Little Pea fashion, he found himself in the right place at the right time.
Then as he moved forward, I remember holding breathe and thinking “he’s going to trip. He’s going to trip over himself and miss it.” Talk about that Mexican optimism, yea?
You see, us fans of El Tri know that for all of Javier Hernandez poaching ability and finishing touch in the box, he has a tendency to complicate things for himself and those around him. This was one such case and as he dribbles around Lloris, you can’t help but clutch your chest as there is a very real possibility that he’s going to fall after taking such a wide turn.
Luckily that wasn’t the case and he remained Stoic in front of the net, and slotted the ball to give us that 1-0 lead. You can see the exuberance and excitement as runs around the field celebrating.
I was going nuts! I’m not sure if it’s some deep seated European resentment, but it’s always extra special to score and win against European teams. Maybe I’m still not over the French invasion of Mexico in the 19th century. Either way.
Later in the half the ever age-less and white shoes Cuahuhtemoc Blanco would convert from the penalty spot to give us a 2-0 victory. Mexico would go on to lose to Uruguay in the last group stage match before succumbing to Argentina in the Round of 16.
For those keeping count at home, that would be the second consecutive World Cup where the Argentines eliminated us. I still have nightmares where Maxi Rodriguez bends shot after shot at my head.
It may have been our only victory of the tournament, but for that moment in time against France, every Mexican in the world yelled and exclaimed like Chicharito.