Fifa World Cup: South Korea consul general to Mexico drinks tequila shots with fans at embassy after Germany shock

Mexican fans dance to ‘Gangnam Style’ and chant that Koreans are ‘our brothers’ after Asian side stun Germany, which helps send Mexico through to last 16

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 June, 2018, 12:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 June, 2018, 5:57pm

Ecstatic Mexican fans besieged the South Korean embassy in their capital to celebrate with diplomats after the Asian team stunned Germany at the World Cup and ensured Mexico’s progress to the last 16 in Russia.

Mexicans watched in horror as their side were thumped 3-0 in Yekaterinburg, leaving them keeping a nervous eye on the match between Germany and South Korea about 500 miles (800 kilometres) to the west in Kazan.

But Mexico City exploded with joy when South Korea scored two injury-time goals to eliminate the defending world champions in a huge upset.

Hundreds of Mexican fans mobbed the South Korean embassy to chant “We are all Koreans!” as one lifted the consul general Han Byoung-jin onto his shoulders.

Videos posted on social media also showed ambassador Kim Sang-il sharing a bottle of tequila with fans and jumping up and down as the crowd partied outside the embassy, chanting “Korean brother, now you’re Mexican”.

The embassy was bombarded by phone calls thanking South Koreans, Yonhap news agency said, including one from Mexico’s undersecretary for foreign affairs.

Mexican finance minister Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya also called his counterpart in Seoul to thank South Korea, Seoul’s finance ministry said, promising to treat him to a meal at the next G20 finance ministers’ meeting.

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Social media in Mexico instantly erupted into memes: a Mexican in cowboy hat and boots dancing to “Gangnam Style”, a fake news headline on Mexico changing its official language to Korean, Twitter users vowing to start listening to K-pop and watch more Korean dramas on television.

“I went from crying to laughing,” said Cecilia Gonzalez, a 22-year-old student who was celebrating the outcome of the roller-coaster ride with tequila in a Mexico City bar.

“Thank you Korea. I don’t even know quite where it is, but thank you, thank you.”

As for their own team, the fans’ disappointment was palpable.

“Mexico really let me down. My expectations were so high. They played so well in the other matches, it got my hopes up. But they didn’t play like I thought they would,” 20-year-old student Cecilia Jimenez said.

“Mexico played very, very badly. Luckily the Koreans did us a favour,” said Alan Gonzalez, 29, a lawyer.

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With their three goals, Sweden finished atop the group and will play group E runners-up Switzerland.

Mexico are stuck playing group E winners and five-time world champions Brazil.

Mexicans were left praying for their good luck to continue.

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“It’s been going well for us so far. We beat the world champions, that’s not so easy,” said Luis Padilla, 29, a cafe owner in Mexico City, voicing cautious optimism that the team would continue bringing happiness to the fans back home.

“This is a country that grinds to a halt for football. Football changes everything. It sets our national spirits,” he said.