Let me tell you the story of an underdog in FIFA World Cup 2014; an underdog that reminded me of Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones. Yes! I’m talking about Mexico here. FIFA World Cup 2014 has been full of surprises so far.
Round of 16
The defending champion, Spain was sent home in the initial phase of the tournament. Celebrity superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney failed to perform as per the expectations.
This resulted in England packing their bags for home and Portugal facing an absurd dismissal from the tournament.
As compared to the big names in FIFA World Cup 2014, Mexico might not have much of a fan following around the globe. However, the team definitely earned the due respect because of its performance especially Ochoa, Mexican goal keeper.
Mexico vs. Netherlands
Mexico came across fierce competition in the tournament. Thanks to Ochoa’s resilience and brilliant teamwork, Mexico qualified for the Round of 16. The World Champions were sent home crying in the initial round of the tournament. And in Round of 16, Mexico had to face the team responsible for disqualification of former World Cup winners, Netherlands.
Though I supported the Dutchmen throughout the tournament, strangely, I hoped for Mexico to win this match. The competition was fierce and none could predict the conclusion. Nevertheless, the odds were in favor of Dutchmen, based on their previous performance and fan following.
However, Mexico loves to surprise us all and steal the show. The first goal after kick-off was scored by Giovani Dos Santos with a lightning fast shoot.
And then I witnessed something strange yet familiar. With the statistics in their favor, Mexico, for the first time in this tournament, played complacently. I knew I had seen this before. And then it came to me.
Mexico Got Oberyned – Game of Thrones Spoiler Alert!
Remember the fight between Oberyn Martell and Ser Gregor Clegane? Yes! I’m talking about The Mountain vs. The Red Viper here. You might be wondering how the Game of Thrones battle reference applies to a FIFA World Cup match. Trust me, it does. Let me show you.
This is the goal scored by Giovani Dos Santos for Mexico.
Afterwards, Mexico went all cocky just like Oberyn Martell. Or I should I say, they took their eyes off the ball. Here’s the aftermath, Game of Thrones style: Cocky Mode ON! And we all expected a happy ending from it – expecting The Red Viper of Dorne to emerge victorious when suddenly…
There have been many arguments over the social media regarding Robben’s penalty. The penalty awarded to Netherlands proved to be lethal for Mexico. However, many have been saying that the penalty wasn’t an outcome of a foul but Robben dived on purpose.
Game Over for Mexico
As Netherlands proceeds to the quarter finals, Mexico’s journey ends here. They might have lost the match but they proved their worth in this World Cup. They showed the world that they’re not an easy team to beat. The world now knows that even if the competition breaks the spirit of giants like Spain, England and Portugal, some underdogs like Mexico stand tall with a never-back-down attitude.
Netherlands won the match, but Mexico won our hearts. #NetherlandsVsMexico
— #GER (@ethanmata22) June 30, 2014