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Mexico supporters were tense as they watched their team fall behind against Sweden with their World Cup survival on the line, but erupted with joy despite the 3-0 deficit on the scoreboard after learning South Korea had taken the lead against Germany to send them through to the knockout round. Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
- Mexico was looking at an early World Cup exit down 3-0 to Sweden and needing South Korea to hold on against Germany to secure a spot in the knockout round.
- When South Korea scored a stoppage-time goal, Mexico supporters erupted with cheers knowing they'd advance out of the group stage, despite their team being down 3-0 on the field.
- Across the world, El Tri fans celebrated South Korea's victory, waving the country's flag and lifting South Korean fans in the air while chanting their thanks.
Mexico's 2019 World Cup was dangerously close to coming to a heartbreaking ending.
Despite winning the first two matches of the group stage, including an impressive upset over group favorites Germany, El Tri still needed a win or a draw against Sweden to secure its spot in the knockout round. With a loss to the Swedes, Mexico's fate would come down to the outcome of the Germany-South Korea match that was being played simultaneously.
After a scoreless first half in both games, Sweden took control in the second half, building up a 3-0 lead over Mexico, leaving fans looking nervous that their World Cup hopes were about to come crashing down around them.
Mexico fans tensely watch as their team falls apart against Sweden. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Germany and South Korea remained knotted at 0-0, but one goal from the German side would spell ruin, and Toni Kroos had already proven his team was more than capable of a late go-ahead goal.
As both games entered stoppage time, it became clear that the outcome of Germany-South Korea would determine Mexico's fate. So, when news spread that South Korea had stolen a goal against the reigning champions, Mexico fans erupted in the stands even as their team was down 3-0 in front of them.
Chances are good that no group of fans has ever cheered louder as their team was losing 3-0, but the sense of relief and accompanying bliss could be felt across the arena.
Mexico fans rejoice. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
It was a surreal scene that continued that played out amongst Mexico fans the world over, as El Tri supporters immediately adopted South Korea as their second favorite team on the planet.
Some Mexico fans went beyond cheering while watching the action unfold television, either by waving South Korean flags or finding South Korea supporters and thanking them in person with chants and in some cases carrying them like conquering heroes.
It's moments like this that make the World Cup truly a one-of-a-kind event. While South Korea's World Cup run is over, the team still pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far to eliminate the reigning champions.
Video: Astro's 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Coverage
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