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In Mexico City, scenes from a World Cup victory party

June 17, 2010 |  6:01 pm

Mexico city cantina

Above, inside Tio Pepe's, a cantina in downtown Mexico City (near its minuscule Chinatown), fans react to Cuauhtemoc Blanco's clinching penalty goal against France in its 2-0 World Cup win. The Fabulous Forum has more. Here's a video recap of the game by Spain's El Pais (in Spanish).

Here at La Plaza, a cantina was the only place to be Thursday for watching Mexico's crucial match against France in Polokwane, South Africa. Millions across Mexico presumably did the same, as streets in the capital were relatively quiet during the game and bars filled up with patrons who might otherwise be in school or at the office.

Tensions were high before the event. Mexico entered its match with France with its future in the tournament on the line. A loss to France would have hurt its chances of advancing to the second round. But a win, and a decisive one, would offer a huge boost, and could help position Mexico better for a next round.

In the end, a beautifully clean goal by 22-year-old Javier Hernandez (also known as "Chicharito," or "Little Green Pea") put Mexico up, 1-0, in the 64th minute. Blanco, the team captain and elder statesman at 37, finished off the French with a well-executed penalty kick in the 79th minute.

And Mexico City erupted in a deafening collective cheer.

Below, more images by La Plaza from the after-party on the streets, as fans first swarmed the Eje Central, a main corridor downtown, and then moved en masse toward the Angel of Independence monument, the traditional meeting point for chaotic celebrations in the Mexican sports world.

The revelry observed no age barriers!

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More images by the pro shooters at El Universal here. As of early evening Thursday, the honking, cheering, marching and beer-drinking was still going in the Aztec capital.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

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