MEXICO CITY – To Mexicans, it's just unthinkable: Their soccer-crazed country stands a chance of not qualifying for the World Cup.
Worse yet, it was a 2-0 loss to their bitter northern rival on Tuesday that has left Mexico out of position for a spot in next year's 32-nation tournament. And the team known as the Tri has only two games left to make up ground.
It's a front-page disaster. One newspaper calls it the "Tritanic." A sample of other headlines: "Fiasco," ''Crisis," ''Dreadful."
Miguel Angel Lara is an academic who studies sports and society. He says Mexicans take it so seriously that they interpret it as the country itself failing them.