Hundreds of Mexico soccer fans danced and cheered outside the South Korean embassy in Mexico City on Wednesday, grateful after the Asian country's victory over Germany guaranteed the national team a spot in the knock-out stages of the World Cup.
After Sweden beat Mexico 3-0 on Wednesday, Mexican fans turned their support to South Korea, fearful that a victory by Germany would send their players home.
Mexico fans became South Korea fans on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/s68RxJWesq— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 27, 2018
South Korea stunned the world by defeating Germany 2-0 with two goals in the final minutes of the game, ensuring the former world champions were eliminated and allowing Mexico to finish the group in second place.
South Korea itself was eliminated.
Byoung-yin Han, consul general at the embassy, said, "There's no distinction between Mexicans and Koreans today." He said Mexican staff at the embassy were crying with joy.
All it took was beating Germany to unite Mexico and South Korea World Cup fans https://t.co/ekpbRe4S4r— TIME (@TIME) June 27, 2018
Hundreds of fans celebrated outside the embassy in the upmarket neighborhood of Lomas de Chapultepec, waving flags of both countries, donning sombreros and quaffing tequila.
A Korean member of the diplomatic staff was raised onto the shoulders of the crowd, which shouted "Korean, brother, now you're Mexican."
"Did we just become best friends?!"— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 27, 2018
-Mexico & South Korea fans, probably pic.twitter.com/DZLr3oJU1I
The fans also led what appeared to be an embassy official in a chorus of "Cielito Lindo," Mexico's unofficial soccer anthem.
Celebrations spread to the historic center of the capital, where World Cup games are being shown on giant screens. Mexican fans mobbed Asian tourists, and TV footage showed one laughing Asian man being flung into the air and caught by the crowd.
Memes spread across social media, including one of the Mexican and Korean flags combined as one.
"Maybe it is not the best way of getting through, but we're through. We are very grateful," said Pablo Gonzalez, 45.
That’s the Korean consul general to Mexico, Byoung-Jin Han, celebrating with grateful Mexican fans outside the Korea embassy here. One fan said he took a shot of tequila with them earlier. pic.twitter.com/NGWEmRADUW— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) June 27, 2018