Football: Small earthquake detected in Mexico after fans celebrate World Cup goal against Germany

Mexicans celebrate their country's World Cup goal against Germany at Zocalo Square in Mexico City.
Mexicans celebrate their country's World Cup goal against Germany at Zocalo Square in Mexico City. PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (NYTIMES) - At approximately 11.30 am Sunday (11.30pm, Singapore time), seismic sensors in Mexico City detected a small earthquake. But it was triggered in an "artificial manner," according to the group monitoring the gauges.

"Possibly because of mass jumping," reported the group, the Institute of Geologic and Atmospheric Investigations.

The cause of that mass jumping? Moments before, the Mexican national football team had scored a goal against powerhouse Germany in their group-stage match in the World Cup in Moscow.

The Mexicans would hold on to win the match, 1-0, defeating Germany - the defending World Cup champions - and recording one of the biggest upsets in Mexico's World Cup history.

One need only look at the seismic graphs in Mexico City to get a sense of the importance of the victory to Mexicans. But there was plenty of other evidence, too.

After the final whistle, households around the country erupted in joy. People poured into the streets to celebrate. Strangers embraced one another.

For hours after the match, Mexico City resounded with the joyous cacophony of car horns, and euphoric fans gathered in public plazas to celebrate, waving Mexican flags and singing.

Mexico City's local government announced that 75,000 people had gathered in the Zocalo, the capital's main square, by mid-afternoon, several hours after the match ended.

 
 
 

Thousands more converged on the Angel of Independence monument, a signature landmark on one of the city's principal boulevards, forcing authorities to close off nearby streets to vehicular traffic.

"It's so surprising," said Juan Rodrigo Guadarrama, 32, a taxi driver in Mexico City. "I barely felt like watching the match, because I thought we were going to get badly beaten. I thought we would not have a chance. But the fact that we won renews our hope."

He continued: "We are so polarised and against each other these days, with the elections and everything else going on, that this brings us back together and makes us feel like things are possible."

Shortly after the match, President Enrique Peña Nieto took to Twitter to celebrate the victory: "Confirmed: Mexico competes and wins against the best in the world. Many congratulations to @miseleccionmx! Great game!"