The Colossus of Saint Ursula-Estadio Azteca

This is the second of a 2 part series, for the first check out the Stadiums that Haunt the USNMT

This stadium has a lot of history in it.

For example: The final of two World Cups, the Hand of God Goal, and the infamous second sun in midfield during one of the finals. It also hosted a 2016 NFL Monday Night Football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans.  This massive structure sits in near the Capital City of Mexico, Mexico DF.

Putting that aside, Mexico has a good record in the stadium. In the last couple of World Cup Qualifiers, they have lost twice. IN OVER 30 YEARS IN WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS, MEXICO HAS ONLY LOST TWICE. Once in 2001, and the last time it was in 2013. The only nations that have beaten Mexico are:

a) US and Canada

b) Panama and Costa Rica

c) Honduras and Guatemala

d) Honduras and the US

e) Costa Rica and Honduras

The correct answer is choice e, Costa Rica and Honduras.

The 2001 killing of the giant in the Colossus, was jaw-dropping to put it lightly. The Nacion newspaper, one of the biggest newspapers in Costa Rica, covered the game in its 11-year anniversary. Hernan Medford, or El Pelicano  as he was dubbed said that:

“Esa victoria es un momento histórico para el futbol de Costa Rica. Que toda la vida no hubiera perdido como local en eliminatorias y que le ganáramos 2-1 es algo para recordar siempre porque quedará grabada en la historia”, for more even though it is in Spanish click here. In a rough translation what he said was that the game was a major stepping stone for Soccer in Costa Rica and that it would be remembered throughout history.

Then, 12 years later the giant was slain again. This time Honduras needing to win in order to stay alive to go to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 won. Mexico got a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute of the game but in the second half, Honduras scored in the 64th minute of the game, it was 1-1. Then the unforgettable moment happened in Honduras’s soccer history happened. In the 66th minute, Honduras took the lead and kept it until the end of the game. For the first time since 1990, Mexico was on the verge of not making the World Cup, so they fired their head coach hours after Honduras beat them in the Azteca.

So it became apparent that whomever beat Mexico in the Colossus of Saint Ursula, that game should be remembered as an Aztecaso. The name comes from Azteca as it is the name of the Stadium and “so” to indicate the importance of it. In the first Aztecaso, Mexico was prideful that it had never lost at home for a World Cup Qualifier, so when they were up 1-nill then it was jubilee in the stadium, however when Costa Rica tied it up, hush had befallen to the stadium.

In the Champions League, there has been one Aztecaso, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (CRC) against Club America (MEX). The reason why this is an Aztecaso is that Club America was the champion of Liga MX (Mexican League) and were overwhelming favorites. They also play at the Azteca, and in order to move on, they needed a tie, the Liga needed a win to be in the Quarterfinals. This game happened weeks after Honduras beat Mexico.

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