If you're a fan of the Mexican national soccer team, you know what it is to suffer. Your team has never won a World Cup or even really come close.
Fortunately, soccer watching is a communal activity where fellowship and solace can be found at numerous bars, restaurants and cantinas in Sacramento where Mexico fans have been avidly following their team this year.
After nearly being eliminated Wednesday by losing to Sweden, Mexico advanced to the next round when Germany lost to South Korea. Mexico will play at 7 a.m. on Monday against perennial power Brazil.
Zocalo, the midtown Mexican restaurant at 18th and Capitol, has been the epicenter of Mexico fandom in the heart of Sacramento. The luminous restaurant, which evokes an airy hacienda, has been open for all Mexico games.
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Last Saturday, in a much more satisfactory outcome, Zocalo was packed for Mexico's 2-1 win over South Korea.
Packed is not an exaggeration. Every table, every spot at the bar, on the patio and in the dining room was filled. There were drummers in the house. The restaurant was filled with a veritable battalion of Mexico fans wearing green, red and white – the colors of Mexico's national flag and national team jerseys.
Not far away, DeVere's Irish Pub at 15th and L; Zebra Club at 19th and P; and Chando's Cantina at 15th and H have also become gathering spots for Mexico fans.
Cilantro's Mexican Restaurant offers dollar tacos and $5 margaritas during viewing parties for every World Cup game. The restaurant at 705 J St. is giving Korean customers 25 percent off their orders Wednesday.
On Monday, the stakes will be high. Starting Saturday, all World Cup games will be single elimination, with the loser going home.
In the last six World Cups dating to 1994, Mexico is 0-6 in elimination games. Will this year be different? On Monday morning, fans in Sacramento will be hanging on every play.