The 2014 FIFA World Cup has come and gone. It’s been more than a year since Germany took home the championship and since Mexico suffered a controversial exit at the hands of the Netherlands.
Mexico had fought tooth and nail against some of the tournament’s favorites. A Guillermo Ochoa-inspired Mexico kept a clean sheet against host Brazil, the second time in a row that Mexico had to face a host nation (South Africa in 2010).
In their first match of the tournament, Mexico beat Cameroon 1-0. Oribe Peralta made himself known to fans and foes alike, giving Mexico the solitary goal.
The 0-0 tie against a Neymar-led Brazil inspired Mexico to reach further than they’ve ever gone before in the most competitive tournament of the sport.
Their final group stage match was an awe-inspiring collective performance by Mexico. Croatia was at the time, and continues to be, one of Europe's best teams, with world-class players like Luka Modric, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitić. The match ended 3-1 in favor of Mexico.
Performing in his fourth World Cup, Rafa Marquez opened the scoring for Mexico. Andres Guardado continued El Tri’s stellar collective performance and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez topped it all off. It was a performance fans believed they could continue.
Until they came face-to-face with the Dutch in the Round of 16.
Even though Mexico continued the great form they showed in the group stages against the Dutch, a last minute penalty for the Oranje changed everything.
The match was tied with five minutes to go. Mexico had gone ahead with Gio Dos Santos having scored in the 48th minute.
Wesley Sneijder tied it in the 88th minute. Fans, players, and coaching staff were all looking ahead towards the two 15-minute halves of extra time. But Robben had other plans.
With only seconds to go in injury time, Robben changed the outcome of the game. While trying to dribble through players within Mexico’s penalty box, Rafa Marquez challenged the winger for the ball, causing Robben to fall within the penalty box.
It’s still up in the air as to whether or not Rafa Marquez tripped the Netherlands’star player but it didn’t help that Robben fell theatrically.Not only would Klaas - Jan Huntelaar go on to score the winning goal from the penalty spot, but Robben’s fall in pain also inspired an incredibly funny social media movement. Mexico would go home disappointed at their loss but the#NoEraPenal movement began, with El Tri fans voicing criticism of the call made by Portuguese referee Pedro Proença, making their voices heard throughout social media.
It was on Twitter.It was on Facebook.It was on Instagram.
— AG (@adrianaglpz) June 30, 2015
— . (@londerswonders) June 30, 2015
— JZA (@sipn_t) June 30, 2015
— Rodrigo Salvador (@rodrigosa90) June 30, 2015