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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico fans fete South Koreans after Germany's defeat saves El Tri's hopes at World Cup

EKATERINBURG, Russia -- Mexico fans inside and out of Ekaterinburg Arena chanted "Korea, Korea" as the Asian side defeated Germany 2-0 to send El Tri to the Round of 16 of the World Cup, despite a simultaneous defeat to Sweden.

El Tri had lost 3-0 and would have gone out of the competition had defending champions Germany defeated South Korea, who instead netted two late goals that were celebrated in Mexico and by Mexicans around the world.

Mexico fans hoisted Koreans aloft in Mexico City, Los Angeles and in Russia as El Tri celebrated a seventh consecutive passage to the round of 16 of the World Cup.

Outside the South Korea embassy in Mexico City, hundreds of fans danced and chanted "Korean brother, you are now Mexican." The hashtags "Thanks Korea" and even "K-pop" were used on social networks.

"There's no distinction between Mexicans and Koreans today," said Han Bjoung-Yin, consul general at the Mexico City embassy, adding that Mexican staff at the embassy were crying with joy.

For the players in Ekaterinburg Arena, it was less of a celebration and more of a roller coaster of emotions in a tense and nerve-racking evening.

"It was kind of a strange feeling because we really wanted to play well and win and get nine points, but in the end it's a bitter-sweet feeling," said Miguel Layun, who learned that South Korea had defeated Germany through the crowd in the stadium.

"We have to clear our heads and be aware that we've played well in the group stage and we're in the Round of 16 on our own merits."


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Marco Fabian, who came on with 25 minutes left in the match, said he was confused on the final whistle.

"We didn't know," Fabian told reporters. "On the pitch it is difficult to know [what is going on] because you are concentrating, but obviously [South Korea's win] made us very happy.

"It was all our dream to advance to the next round. We are there and now we have to concentrate on what is next."

Winger Hirving Lozano agreed it was time to move on from the loss to Sweden and for the squad to pick itself up before they face Brazil in the round of 16 on Monday.

"We have to lift our heads, turn the page, see which opponent we get and start working," he said.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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