Euphoric Mexican fans hunted down an South Korean ambassador before encouraging him to drink tequila shots in a celebration of Germany’s unexpected defeat against the Asian country.
Hundreds of Mexican football fans gathered outside the South Korean embassy in Mexico City on Wednesday to rejoice at South Korea’s unlikely World Cup victory over the World and Confederations Cup champions.
South Korea’s 2-0 win against Germany – which saw two goals in the final minutes of the game – secured Mexico a spot in the knock-out stages of the World Cup despite Sweden beating them by 3-0.
New York Times reporter James Wagner shared a video of the Korean consul general to Mexico, Byoung-Jin Han, revelling with Mexican fans before drinking tequila.
“That’s the Korean consul general to Mexico, Byoung-Jin Han, celebrating with grateful Mexican fans outside the Korea embassy here. One fan said he took a shot of tequila with them earlier,” Mr Wagner tweeted.
He added: “Byoung-Jin Han summed up the crowd and celebration perfectly: ‘They are crazy but I’m also crazy today.’ Said a large chunk of the embassy staff is Mexican, so they had both games on inside the building.”
“Thank you so much, (Koreans) are awesome. They are awesome,” Gladys Ison, a 19-year-old Mexican, said as she waved a South Korean flag outside the embassy.
Traffic heaved around the embassy in the capital’s upscale Lomas de Chapultepec neighbourhood as ecstatic fans leapt up and down, cheered and drank tequila, mobbing Korean diplomatic staff and singing Mexican soccer hymns.
Counsellor Park Sun-tae was raised smiling aloft on fans’ shoulders, who chanted “Korean, brother, now you’re Mexican!”
Mr Bjoung-jin, the consul general at the embassy, said, “There’s no distinction between Mexicans and Koreans today. We’re celebrating together.”
He said Mexican staff at the embassy were crying with joy.
Fans also led an embassy official in a chorus of “Cielito Lindo” which is Mexico’s unofficial football anthem.
Waving the flags of both countries and sporting sombreros, a loud group of fans partied on an old fire truck, honking its horn and pouring tequila off the roof into the open mouth of a local waiter who had come to join the celebrations. Even fans of the Swedish team made a pit stop at the festivities.
Johan Lindblom, 47, a Mexico City-based businessman originally from Stockholm wearing a Sweden shirt was relieved that both teams had managed to progress, saying: “A final between Sweden and Mexico, that would be the ultimate”.
The fiesta spread to the capital’s historic centre where World Cup games are being displayed on giant screens. Mexican fans mobbed Asian tourists, and TV footage showed one laughing Asian man being hurled into the air and the crowd catching him.
“Maybe it is not the best way of getting through, but we’re through. We are very grateful,” Pablo Gonzalez, 45, said.
Memes were disseminated across social media including one of the Mexican and Korean flags combined as one.
Mexican airline Aeromexico announced a 20 per cent discount on its Korean flights – tweeting “we love you, Korea!”