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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Stoppage time spectacle

Brazil beats Mexico 3-2 at Kyle Field thanks to last-minute Endrick header
Photo by Kyle Heise
Brazil D Yan Couto (13) and F Gabriel Martinelli (22) celebrate with teammates after Martinelli’s goal against Mexico during the MexTour match at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)

When people think of Kyle Field, they think of icons. Names like Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans and Von Miller spring to mind: Champions who’ve earned a place in the history of the sixth largest stadium in the world based on what they’ve achieved on that hallowed ground.

It’s time to add a new name to Kyle Field’s long list of legends: Brazil forward Endrick, whose 96th-minute header lifted Brazil to a 3-2 win over Mexico in the first-ever soccer match at Kyle Field. 

Welcome to Kyle Field lore, Endrick. Enjoy your stay.

The 17-year-old — who will sign with Real Madrid in July — leaped with his head outstretched and eyes on goal to reach the pass from the left wing sent in by Brazil forward Vinícius Júnior, Endrick’s future Real Madrid teammate, fresh off of a Champions League title a week ago. 

One bounce later, and Brazil had its game-winning goal — and Endrick did not have his shirt, as he sprinted to the sidelines in a burst of euphoria to celebrate bare-chested towards the crowd.

It’s a moment that not a single one of the 85,249 fans in attendance will ever forget. 

Spectacle and carnival

“We are going to do everything we can to put on a great spectacle,” Brazil manager Dorival Júnior said before the match. “It is a pleasure to be here, and we are going to do everything we can [to] have the best game possible.”

It felt like a festival. Kyle Field — normally a citadel of solid maroon — was a kaleidoscope of color, noise and movement: A sea of Mexico’s green, red and white tricolor rumbled with every Mexican attack, and roared in the 92nd minute, as Mexico forward Guillermo Martinez capitalized on a deflection off of Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker and scored from a nigh impossible angle on the left wing to even the game at 2-2.

“I was happy with the tie,” Mexico manager Jaime Lozano said. “I was very proud of my guys. I’m very thankful to my players. They never stopped fighting. Obviously, it was sad when [Brazil] scored, but overall I’m happy with their performance.”

But it was the specks of canary yellow in that sea of green — the contingent of Brazilian fans clad in their nation’s iconic home kit — that initially had cause to celebrate.

Brazil midfielder Andreas Pereira opened the scoring in the fifth minute. Pereira patiently danced his way through a contingent of Mexico defenders, sending a couple of them sliding to the turf as he waited for his angle. He found his ideal shot in the middle of the box and fired home the opening salvo that put Brazil up 1-0.

It was a fitting way to score, considering the day’s events: Brazil scored its opener by way of a dance after Brazilian Carnival dancers paraded through Aggie Park and Mexican fans danced along to mariachi both inside and outside the stadium. Call it poetry in motion.

Next up was Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli, whose 54th-minute goal poked in with his left foot straight into the center of the net doubled the Brazilian lead.

“It was an amazing experience,” Martinelli said. “It was so hot in here, but we tried to give it our best, and as I said it was an amazing experience. And I think we deserve the result as well.”

The majority of the 85,249 fans — the third largest crowd ever for a MEXTOUR game — didn’t have a reason to celebrate until the 73rd minute, when Mexico forward Julián Quiñones’ tap-in pulled Mexico back to within one goal of a draw. 

With victory suddenly a realistic possibility, the Mexican faithful came alive. Even through a stoppage for pitch invasions, they made their voices heard loud and clear. Even in defeat, they yelled and they sang and they chanted for Mexico up and down the exit ramps of Kyle Field. 

“I think both teams felt the excitement,” Lozano said. “Mexico’s fans are terrific. They’re unconditional. At the end of the day, it was a good show with a lot of goals. We’re very thankful to the fans, and we’re thankful for the city.”

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About the Contributor
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and 
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