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Tijuana citizens were ecstatic on June 14 when the Mexican national team, “El Tri,” defeated European soccer powerhouse France 2 to 0 in the World Cup. The surprising victory reverberated with the historical conquest of Mexico over the French army over 150 years ago (a date celebrated today as Cinco de Mayo).

During the match, the Mexican noisemaker known as a matraca chattered inside bars, bistros, and on the streets. This reporter saw the amazing feat at El Nuevo Perrico bar, a saloon on the newly renovated Calle Sexta, known for its international ambience; English, Spanish, French, and German speakers were in the crowd.

After the first goal was scored by Javier “Chicharito” (Little Green Pea) Hernández, television screens went black as electricity in the city shut down (too many televisions in operation?). Tijuanenses poured into the streets and blasted radios tuned to the game from parked cars. The entire city center was kept aware of Mexico’s tenuous status: during the blackout period, another goal was scored by Mexico, and once again the city erupted in a roar. Fifteen minutes later, power was restored, and people raced back into the bars to see the game’s end.

As the clock wound down and it became evident that victory was assured, the streets were filled with aficionados screaming “¡Viva Mexico!

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Comments

CuddleFish June 18, 2010 @ 1:18 p.m.

Was there another victory yesterday? The fans in green shirts waving the Mexican flag were screaming and hollering yesterday at a packed Sun Cafe downtown, and in the streets in front of the Wal-Mart in National City yesterday.

Sorry, I don't follow soccer.

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nada June 19, 2010 @ 1:21 a.m.

Say what you want about soccer but just remember this nobody cares about football outside the USA.

Soccer is worldwide!

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David Dodd June 19, 2010 @ 2:02 a.m.

I love soccer and I love World Cup. This one has been amazing so far. And every national team in North and South America except Honduras stands a good chance at advancing, it's awesome.

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Robert Hagen June 23, 2010 @ 8:25 p.m.

I love soccer too, but now its going to be Mexico vs. Argentina in the second round of single elimination play, what Americans call win or go home, what South Americans call matar o morir, kill or die. Thats a figurative term.

Im rooting for Mexico this time.

In 2006, Argentina faced Mexico in the fourth game. It went to overtime, and was settled by Maxi Rodriguezs super goal. This time, just the fact that it has happened again, Argentina vs Mexico leads me to think that I hope Mexico wins.

Yesterday I participated in a huge rally of young Tijuaneros, celebrating qualification for the second round. It was awesome. The youngsters really have their acts together. Im so proud and honored to be able to live in TJ, in spite of all the problems, we still keep our heads about ourselves. We are going to do more great things in this great cosmopolitan city that some say is not like Mexico in the south, but then, every great city has its own personality. Tijuana has long been titled the worlds most visited city, now were becoming one of the worlds greatest cities, never shirking from what comes our way, but instead, through teamwork and knowing who we really are, superceding the worst, and going for the best.

The Mexican select have enough to go anywhere in the World Cup, even to the finals.

US Soccer has qualified, and will play Ghana, on Sunday. Its a winnable match for sure, but Ive never seen Donovan and company play an African team. Can US Soccer do it? Time will tell.

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Robert Hagen June 23, 2010 @ 8:38 p.m.

Heres a funny Donovan commercial where he tries to sneak into Mexico

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N01hwFmpkIU&feature=related

Heres a Donovan SportsCenter interview where he shows that in addition to his soccer playing ability, he can speak very good Spanish

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