SAMARA, Russia (AP) — The elusive “quinto partido” is fueling Mexico ahead of its daunting knockout round opener against Brazil.
The phrase, which means fifth game, refers to the quarterfinals at the World Cup. Mexico has made it to the round of 16 for the past six tournaments but hasn’t been able to advance any further.
If they can beat Neymar and the Brazilians, El Tri will reach that quinto partido. But that’s a big if.
Mexico has already made history in Russia, beating defending champion Germany 1-0 in the group opener. It was Mexico’s first victory over the Germans in a competitive match — and first in any game since 1985. The loss would later figure in Germany’s elimination in Russia.
Captain Andres Guardado says “We’re motivated by the fact that we’re in the knockout stage, facing Brazil and one victory from reaching the fifth game. It’s in our hands.”