In a serendipitous turn of events, Team USA, Mexico’s biggest rival, gave El Tri another chance to qualify for the World Cup last month.
But it’s still shaky ground for Mexico — for the first time in more than two decades, they’re at risk of not making it to the biggest soccer tournament on the planet.
They almost didn’t – they lost their last qualifier, but strangely enough, the Americans came back to beat Panama in a separate game (in the last 90 seconds of the match!), shuffling the bracket and extending a lifeline to their soccer rivals south of the border.
This week, Mexico faces New Zealand in the first game of a playoff to decide who goes to Brazil.
Watch ESPN’s John Sutcliffe on “AMERICA with Jorge Ramos” at 8 p.m. ET on Fusion for the inside scoop.