Latin America & Caribbean

World Cup 2018: Mexico fans celebrate South Korean 'brothers'

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Media captionEcstatic Mexico fans wave the flag of South Korea

Mexican football fans have been wildly cheering another team - South Korea.

The Asian side's 2-0 victory over 2014 winners Germany on Wednesday - a major upset secured in stoppage time - ensured Mexico progress to the knockout stage of the World Cup despite being thrashed by Sweden in their final group game.

Large crowds celebrated Mexico's progression at the South Korean embassy in Mexico City, chanting that Koreans were their "brothers".

Images of hybrid South Korea-Mexico flags, tweeted statements of friendship and gratitude, and even vows from fans to begin listening to K-Pop were posted online by droves of Mexico supporters.

"Thank you Korea. I don't even know quite where it is, but thank you, thank you," Cecilia Gonzalez, a 22-year-old student told the AFP news agency at a bar in Mexico City.

At a World Cup fan park in Russia, Sweden and Mexico supporters celebrated their teams' progression by chanting "Goodbye Germany" in unison.

Mexico fans have largely brushed over their side's 3-0 defeat to Sweden in their final group game, which sets them up for a meeting with five-time champions Brazil in the next round.

An image of Mexico's green, white and red standard emblazoned with the South Korean flag is also proving popular on Twitter.

At home, many South Koreans took to the internet to express their excitement.

On Naver, the country's largest internet portal, the German defeat continued to trend.

"I never cared much for football but when your country becomes the first Asian team to beat Germany in the World Cup, you celebrate," gushed one fan. "So incredibly proud to be South Korean."

Another Naver user said: "We should be very proud of ourselves and our country. From working towards peace [in the joint April peace summit] to our World Cup win, those are amazing achievements. Great year for our country."

South Korean social media users also focused their attention on goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-Woo, the "hero to not just one nation, but two". He was celebrated for his quick reflexes which saved the day.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption There were wild celebrations in Mexico City

One South Korean tourist was even swept up in the celebrations in Mexico City's Zócalo plaza.

"A friend of the people!" the tweet reads, as Mexico supporters are shown lifting the man onto their shoulders.

But despite all the fanfare and their shock defeat of defending world champions Germany, South Korea will not progress.

At least their fans will leave Russia with plenty of new friends.

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Media captionFans react to Germany's World Cup exit

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