COLUMBIA — Mexico met Brazil in the World Cup on Tuesday, and a small but enthusiastic group of fans sat tensely at Mi Tierra Mexican Grill on Old Highway 63 to watch the outcome on several TVs playing the game.
Around a table, two customers and two waiters were pumping their fists and shouting in Spanish whenever Mexico had a good shot.
In the end, the two teams fought to a scoreless draw in the early World Cup round, but the four fans were circumspect about the result.
"That's a good result for Mexico," Cesar García, who works at the restaurant, said in Spanish. "That way we'll have less tension when we play against Croatia."
In each of the last five World Cup tournaments, Mexico has lost in the first knock-out round. The last time the team reached the quarterfinals, the furthest they've ever advanced, was in 1986.
One of the men was actually rooting for Brazil, though his parents are Mexican. He said he is realistic.
Giovanni Guillén had bet a bottle of whiskey, an order of tacos and a 12-pack of Mexican beer on Brazil.
"I got to win something somewhere," he said. "Believe me, when I root for Brazil all the Mexicans are looking at me like, 'What the hell.'"
Giovanni's uncle Pedro Guillén, on the other hand, called himself a devoted Mexico fan.
"I'm a true Mexican," he said.
"He's confused," the older Guillén said about his nephew. "Today he's rooting for Brazil, tomorrow for who knows who. He's just a kid."
Mexico will play Croatia on Monday.
Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.