That'll hurt Mexico forever: Winners, losers & ratings vs Saudi Arabia as El Tri fall one goal short of knockout stage

Hector Moreno post-match Mexico Saudi Arabia World Cup 2022Getty Images

Hirving Lozano sat glum and alone in the dugout when the match ended, a training bib draped over his head. Cesar Montes rested on his back in the middle of the pitch, hands covering his eyes. Edson Alvarez wept in a post-match TV interview.

Heartbreak. Complete and utter heartbreak.

Mexico would have felt deep pain regardless of the elimination method, but this particular way of going out of the World Cup felt extra cruel.

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After squandering each and every chance given to them in the first two games of the group stage, El Tri finally threatened in the attack. They scored twice in the second half to inspire hope, but couldn't get the third that would have given them a tiebreaker advantage over Poland in Group C.

A 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia that exhilarated their fans most of the way was ultimately irrelevant.

Manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino's tenure is likely over, and it will be seen as a failure. Despite the fight back, despite the hope, the 2022 World Cup was a grand disappointment for El Tri, who expected to be around a lot longer than this.

This is their first group stage exit since 1978.

It's the hope that kills you, they say, and, at Lusail Stadium on Wednesday night, Mexico's World Cup dreams were killed in painful fashion.