Mexican national team supporters turned out in force for their side’s Gold Cup match against Honduras in Glendale on Thursday night.
Sombreros, flags and green jerseys were draped over anticipation. More than 37,000 fans, and just about all of them were rooting for “El Tri.”
The Mexican national anthem kicked in and Pancho Villa’s Army — primarily U.S.-born Mexican-Americans — was in full effect, unfurling a massive white banner that read “Estamos Unidos.”
The match began to songs, chants and cheers.
Just minutes in, Rodolfo Pizarro scored for Mexico, and the potential energy turned kinetic with fans leaping to their feet.
Jerseys read “Chicharito,” “Dos Santos,” and “Guardado.”
Fans chanted “Mex-i-co.” Clap, clap, clap.
They tried to start a wave.
The ball moved into the Honduras zone. Fans stood and held their breath.
Captain defender Hugo Ayala made a stop. They roared.
Forward Orbelin Pineda took a shot. They sighed.
El Tri went into halftime with a 1-nil lead.
A banner read, “Fuera Osorio,” calling for coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s job — even if he’s suspended for the tournament.
A fan in the front row dressed up as “El Chapulin Colorado” — a character from the old TV show “Chavo De Locho” — jeered Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez.
A shoving match broke out near midfield after Pineda and Honduras midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia got tangled up.
Fans went back to singing, and collectively groaned when Mexico missed an opportunity.
A late save by goalie Jesus Corona drew cheers. An errant shot from Honduras in extra time drew gasps.
The wave never did catch on.
Mexico wins, 1-nil.