As Wednesday dawned, Mexico had at least three routes to the World Cup’s knockout stage.

The first was the easiest: beat Sweden Wednesday in Ekaterinburg, or even earn a draw, and the Mexicans were assured a first-place finish in Group F and a spot in the round of 16.

The second was more complicated: lose to Sweden, finish in a three-way tie atop the group, but find a way to advance via the sometimes complicated FIFA tie-breaking scenarios.

The third route? That was absurd. It would allow Mexico to lose to Sweden, but bypass the tie-breaking scenario altogether. How? If South Korea — one of this tournament’s lowest-ranked teams, and a side with virtually nothing to play for other than pride — found a way to tie or even defeat Germany, the top-ranked team in the world and the reigning champions, a nation that had advanced past the first round of every World Cup it had entered since 1938!

It wasn’t a realistic hope. And yet there was Mexico, getting trampled 3-0 by Sweden. And there was South Korea, hundreds of miles away in Kazan, keeping pace with the listless Germans, parrying off every German offensive flurry, and then scoring not one but two late-game goals to open up the unlikeliest of all paths for El Tri.

The result? Germany was done, the last-place finisher in Group F. Mexico was on to the round of 16, the Group F runner-up, Wednesday’s loss be damned. And fans of El Tri? Well, they saved a healthy portion of their love not for their own team, but for the Koreans, who delivered them to the knockout stage.

How best to celebrate that love? Fans found a plethora ways.

And so you could lift Korean men onto your shoulders.

Or serenade them with song.

Or ask them for photos.

You could lift them up in a loving embrace.

Or dance with them.

Or play K-pop music in their honor.

You could fling their bodies around, even.

You could meld the flags of the two nations.

If you’re in Mexico City, you could swarm the Korean embassy there and elevate diplomats into heroes and brothers.

And certainly you could make plans to share cuisines. As Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano notes, Koreans and Mexicans celebrating will find they share many things in common: a love for spicy food and a habit of randomly breaking into song and dance.

Including cuisines of the liquid variety, particularly since South Koreans are ranked as the hardest drinkers in the world.

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