Mexico celebrates Mother's Day on a set date, May 10th. This year it had the rare event that Mother's Day fell on the same day in both Mexico and the United States. Since this happened, we have to remember that Mother's Day of one of the most infamous moments in Mexican football, when Mexico lost 8-0 against England. The so called “Mother's Day Massacre" left its mark on Mexican football, Coach Nacho Trelles, and maybe even all the way until the 2018 World Cup.
It was the 1960s, and under Coach Ignacio Trelles Mexico had one of the best generations in football. After a World Cup where Mexico got its first ever point (a 1-1 tie against Wales), Mexico was on a high for years, but a tour of Europe sent Mexico crashing right back to earth. The tour ended with Mexico's worst ever defeat, a 8-0 loss in Wembley on May 10th, Mexico's Mothers Day. Mexico had defeated England in Mexico City before but they got destroyed with a hat trick by Bobby Charlton, two goals by Bryan Dougles, and scores from Bobby Robson, Ron Flowers, and Gerry Hitchens.
The loss was devastating for Mexico, although it eventually helped build Mexico up. In the 1962 World Cup in Chile, Mexico had their best World Cup outside Mexico all the way up until 1994. Even though they would end up going out in the group stages, they only lost 2-0 to Brazil, who would eventually win the World Cup. In that game, Mexico got scored on by Pele, but he would be injured in his next match against Czechoslovakia and miss the rest of the tournament. Then Mexico lost in the last minute against Spain by a score of 1-0. Mexico would close out the tournament by getting their first ever win, a 3-1 victory over Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia would end up finishing second, so that meant that Mexico was in the true group of death by facing both finalists.
The loss though would still hang over Coach Trelles and Mexico, especially when Mexico was placed in England's group for the 1966 World Cup. Once again Mexico faced England in Wembley, and once again England fancied another goalfest. Trelles had the game well on his mind and thus decided to completely bunker against England, hoping against a repeat of that game. While England still won and Charlton scored against Mexico again, it was only a 2-0 loss. Mexico had their only loss of that World Cup and although it would bow out in the group stage yet again, it was one of their better performances so far.
A loss like that hammers on in Mexico’s history and like Mexico, history repeats itself somewhat. The loss was Mexico's worst until 2016. In the quarterfinals of Copa America, Mexico lost by an infamous score of 7-0 against Chile in the "Santa Clara Massacre”. Coach Juan Carlos Osorio had his first loss with the team, but it was devastating. Mexico picked up and improved until once again it would stumble badly. In the Confederations Cup of 2017 it was Germany who would go and defeat Mexico by a 4-1 score in another bad defeat. Mexico was looking to meet Chile in the final, but instead Mexico had another bad defeat added to its record.
A year later it was the World Cup, and Mexico got placed in Germany's group. Since Chile didn't even make the World Cup, the only chance of revenge came with that game against a Germany that was licking their lips at the chance of the game and they had the tweet to prove it.
Happy memories of our last meeting with Mexico at the Confed Cup #DieMannschaft #WorldCupDraw pic.twitter.com/OQUAhzjwiu— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) December 1, 2017
Yet like Trelles before that, Osorio had that game very present in his mind and just like in 1966, it was going to be a different story. Mexico contained Germany and won the game by a score of 1-0 as Germany later went out in the group stage to the shock of the majority of the world. Once again Mexico had taken a big hit, but it served the team to improve and correct itself. Maybe its a sign of things to come. Hopefully it happens with Gerardo Martino, who although only having one loss with the national team, the 4-0 loss to Argentina in September was a bad one.