the famous fifth match

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i meant to write about this a long time ago, but i remember the day i chose to write about it was the same day the new fifa ranks came out in like july. and mexico came out in 40th place, so i decided to rant about corrupt ass fifa instead and ended up forgetting about this post.

this post will be about the famous / or infamous fifth match.

if you are mexican, you know exactly what im talking about. if you are mexican, this means something to you. if you are mexican, you know about all the pain behind this bloody fucking fifth match.

above i posted a short documentary i found on youtube, called 'the fifth match'. and its about seven minutes, a great documentary that literally moves me to tears every single time. i recommend that you watch it if you have not yet done so.

basically, it starts off by mentioning that mexico could make history if they defeat netherlands in the round of sixteen of the world cup in brazil. they also mention that outside of world cups played in mexico (1970 & 1986), mexico has not made it to what we all know as 'el quinto partido' or 'the fifth match'. the only time they got to the fifth match was when the cup was played at home, as mentioned above. 

*days prior to the game*

so then they show clips from a couple of days before the mexico vs netherlands match. we had just defeated croatia 3-1, we were touching the heavens. we were confident that our boys could do this if they really tried their hardest. i was confident too. 

this is what people had to say before the match:

"this is going to be the most difficult match yet, the one against netherlands."

"the netherlands are a poweful national team."

"i'm sure mexico will win, we're going to get to the final."

"if we get to the fifth match...we are definitely at a whole new level."

"if mexico wins...that passion would make me happy in things like my job, i would spend a happier day with my family..."

"i predict that it will be a difficult game against netherlands, but there will be a one goal difference."

"two to one, mexico wins."

"two to one, mexico will win."

"two to one, without a doubt."

"the way mexico played their last game (against croatia), they are worthy to be world champions."

"i can almost swear that mexico will be world champions."

"lets hope a miracle happens. we must trust our players."

everything those people said are things i believe about the team. and i love the way in which they so blindly believe in, and trust the players. well, maybe not blindly because then that would mean that they believe in them despite the fact that its known the players cant do it. but this is a different kind of faith. its an unyielding faith in them because we KNOW they can achieve great things. we know they can, and we trust them and we love them.

*morning of the game*

in this part, they start off by showing the mexican fans in guadalajara, gathering together to watch the game. all of them are singing 'cielito lindo' at the top of their lungs. that makes me so happy. singing cielito lindo together as mexican people at the stadium is the best thing. i lived it at the preolympic games at the stubhub center. such a great experience.

i mean, its a song that has nothing to do with football. but it characterizes so many things about the mexican people. canta y no llores, sing and dont cry. i think its very significant for us because mexicans are known for being very happy and very festive people. 

we sing, we do not cry.

so they show clips of the game. gio's goal at the forty eight minute. and you can see it in gio's face, in the faces of the fans as well, that goal meant the entire world for us. it meant it got rid of the fifth game curse. we were in the next round. touching the skies with our finger tips, catching a glimpse of paradise.

then came about forty minutes of agony. as many of us know, mexico has a tendency to...think that they have a game in the bag, when they really dont. i know that suffering bc chivas does it too (coincidence that chivas is 100% mexican?). so as the 87 minute mark approached, with THREE FUCKING MINUTES LEFT, netherlands equalizes. i remember in that moment my entire life just came crashing down. and no one complained bc it was a legit goal. still, i had faith that if they went into extra time, the heat and humidity would work in our favor and we would at least go into penalties where my little aztec wall would block like a boss.

and so in the documentary you see people grabbing their face like they cant believe this was happening. the one time something good was about to happen for us in world football, not just regionally.

around minute 91 comes a man i despise. but i wont get into that (again), and we all know what happens. ochoa vs huntelaar. he scores the penalty, the pain on paco memo's face is clear bc he knew from the moment huntelaar walked up to the penalty spot, that there was a huge chance he would not be able to block that.

anyway, the game ends and people go home.

(this quote is from the documentary as well). "once again the seleccion mexicana fails in their attempt to reach the fifth match."

the scene cuts away to show the minerva roundabout in guadalajara, which is where people go to celebrate and have huge parties after the seleccion wins a game. that afternoon, no one showed up.

*comments after the match*

i swear this guy breaks my heart. he is a little old man that works in a newsstand, and he was so emotional whilst talking about the seleccion after the match. honestly, i cried for hours after and i hated the netherlands in that moment. but then i got over it bc it wasn't the dutch people's fault, it was one man who did this to us (sorry if i sound dramatic). i still hate arjen robben and think that penalty was unjust, but there is nothing i can do about it now. i still cry, i won't lie. i still cry if i see replays or highlights of that match. and i have only rewatched that game ONCE, so that is how strongly terrible it makes me feel.

okay so here is what the older man said, "the more we advance...the more we will have that excitement in our heads. we all have it. and...even i feel it in my head because i once played football...and you feel it in your chest. and that's, to me, the best thing."

anyway, watch the documentary if you haven't yet. its amazing.

-clary xx

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