World Cup Fans: Can Mexico end its round-of-16 curse?


Mexico will make its 16th appearance at the FIFA World Cup in Russia - a statistic that only four other countries have reached.

World Cup Fans' is a special SBS News series running in the lead up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. It looks at the 32 qualifying countries through the eyes of their fans in Australia.

Mexico has played 53 FIFA World Cup matches in total, and 25 of those have ended in defeat.

'El Tri' has been a staple at the tournament since it was first held in 1930.

But they've only managed to reach the quarterfinal stage twice, in 1970 and 1986, when they played host.  

The past six editions of the tournament have ended in heartbreak for Mexico, eliminated in the round-of-16 on each occasion.

Roman Ibarra is one of many Mexicans who hopes the team's streak will come to an end in Russia.

"I think we'll come second in our group," Mr Ibarra said.

"I hope we can make it into the fifth game (quarter-finals) that's like every Mexican's expectation." 

Mexico is grouped with South Korea, Sweden and defending champion Germany.

Jose Ortiz believes Mexico can go all the way in Russia.

"I think it's time for us to win it." Mr Ortiz said.

"We've been there for so long I think it's time."

Members of Australia's Mexican community gather in Sydney twice a month to eat authentic street food.

Rosa Cienfuegos has been running a pop-up restaurant in Sydney for the past two years.

"We are so far away from Mexico, it makes it sometimes pretty sad not being near our families," Ms Cienfuegos said.

"Even though I have my whole family here, I understand many of the Mexican's who come here are going through hard times.

"Just being alone, not having a community, your food, music and not even your language, it's something that could be depressing for some of us."

Adriana Serrano Moreno says Ms Cienfuegos' dishes are different to what is served in many Mexican restaurants across Australia.

"This is the most authentic food that you can have in all Australia," Ms Serrano Moreno said.

Some of the unique dishes include gorditas, pambazos and tamales. 

The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins 15 June. SBS will broadcast the biggest games, including the opening match, semi-finals and final, live, free and in HD.

The World Game: World Cup 2018 match schedule and How to watch live.

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