QATAR World Cup 2022

Mexico’s Last 16 Curse

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It is one of the World Cups biggest mysteries – why do Mexico always fail to progress beyond the round of 16? La Tri are one of just two nations (along with Brazil) to have gotten through the group stage in each of the last seven editions of the tournament. However, in all those World Cups, the North Americans have suffered the same fate – a last16 exit.

The same result has happened so often that the Mexicans have dubbed it the “quinto partido curse” (fifth game curse). Their performances in the group stages are usually excellent, and expectations in the Americas are raised. But once the knockout rounds begin, they buckle under the pressure and fail to make it to the quarter-finals. 

Only in 1970 and 1984, when they were the host nation, have Mexico played in the last eight at the World Cup. They arrive in Qatar looking to end this 28-year curse. But will they do it? Or will quinto partido strike again and extend the hoodoo into a fourth decade? 

Mexico’s World Cup History 

As mentioned, Mexico have exited the World Cup at the last 16 stage seven times in a row. The first was in 1994 when they had arguably their most favourable tie against Bulgaria. Since then, they have drawn powerhouses like Argentina, Germany and Brazil, and on each occasion, they have been defeated. The only other time they were favourites was in 2002, but they lost to their bitter rivals, the USA.  

 

Year 

Opponent 

Result 

2018 

Brazil 

0-2 

2014 

Netherlands 

1-2 

2010 

Argentina 

1-3 

2006 

Argentina 

1-2 (aet) 

2002 

USA 

0-2 

1998 

Germany 

1-2 

1994 

Bulgaria 

1-1 (1-3 penalties) 

 

The one that likely stings the most is their 2014 loss to the Netherlands. La Tri led 1-0 in that game and looked to be ending the curse. But Wesley Sneijder equalised in the 88th minute before a 94th-minute penalty from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar broke Mexican hearts. Arjen Robben won that penalty with a theatrical dive through the air, and to this day, the phrase ‘no era penal’ (it was not a penalty) resonates with those in the country. 

Can Mexico overcome the fifth game curse at the 2022 World Cup?  

Can the current Mexican team break the curse and reach the quarter-finals at the 2022 World Cup? According to our World Cup Betting markets, it may be a challenge.  

Despite having talented players like Raúl Jiménez, Edson Álvarez and Hirving Lozano at their disposal, La Tri are odds-on at 10/11 to be eliminated in the group stage. That price is due to the fact they have been drawn alongside Argentina and Robert Lewandowski’s Poland in a tricky Group C. 

An eighth successive last-16 exit is also likely, with odds of 11/10 available for Mexico to lose in the second round, where they would likely face France or Denmark. The price on our Football Betting market lengthens significantly after that. It is 10/1 for Gerardo Martino’s men to be eliminated in the quarter-final, 20/1 for the semi-final and 100/1 for the final.  

With our Mexico Team Markets, you can have your say on how far Mexico will progress at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  

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