BRAZIL BEAT: Celebration to sadness for Mexico

Associated Press
Mexico soccer fans react after a second goal was scored against their team as they watch the World Cup round of 16 match against Netherlands on a live telecast inside the FIFA Fan Fest area on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 29, 2014. The Netherlands staged a dramatic late comeback, scoring two goals in the dying minutes to beat Mexico 2-1 and advance to the World Cup quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
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SAO PAULO (AP) — Mario Alejandro Barrientos hid his hurt over Mexico's World Cup elimination beneath the brim of a humongous sombrero.

Barrientos, a 28-year-old from Guanajuato, had planned on spending Sunday night celebrating a Mexico win with friend Moses Villaba. The Netherlands changed his fortunes with a 2-1 comeback victory.

"I feel terrible right now. My heart hurts. Too close, too close," Barrientos said in English, then added in Spanish, "Muy triste," or so sad.

Fighting tears, he added, "Ten minutes earlier I was almost celebrating for Mexico to move on. Now, no," while giving a thumbs down sign.

Barrientos and Villaba watched the last moments of the heartbreaker in a taxi before checking in to their Sao Paulo hotel.

"We were going to go out and celebrate," said Villaba, from Tijuana. "Now it's going to be sad."

— By Janie McCauley and Aron Heller — www.twitter.com/JanieMcCAP — www.twitter.com/aronhellerap

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VIEWING PARTY

RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — A gas station in rural northeastern Brazil turned into an impromptu World Cup viewing party.

Fans headed to the match between Costa Rica and Greece had to leave early: Arena Pernambuco is more than 15 kilometers from the tourist beach of Boa Viagem. The trip can take a good hour-and-a-half on public transportation.

The problem is fans wanted to watch Sunday's early match between the Netherlands and Mexico, which determined the next opponent for the winner of the game in Recife. So many arrived early and walked a mile to the nearest highway to find a gas station with a 42-inch TV.

Quickly, some 200 people had gathered there— Mexicans, Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Dutch. Locals began grilling hot dogs and chicken for the fans, and the gas station closed service for cars and instead set out picnic tables for the foreign visitors.

— By Adriana Gomez Licon — www.twitter.com/agomezlicon

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SIZZLING SUN

FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — As the shadows shifted across the Arena Castelao, sections of stands emptied and filled during Sunday's round of 16 match between the Netherlands and Mexico. With an early afternoon start on a hot, muggy day in northeastern Brazil, many fans abandoned their seats when the sun beat down on them in an otherwise full stadium.

Referee Pedro Proenca briefly halted play just after the 30-minute mark for a cooling break, allowing both teams to rehydrate.

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DOGGY SUPPORT

SAO PAULO (AP) — With Sao Paulo gripped in World Cup fever, all sorts of people are adorned in yellow and green Brazil team gear. But dogs?

At Parque Trainon, dog owners appear to have imposed their loyalties on their four-legged friends. Dogs of all shapes and sizes have been spotted with Brazilian flags around their collars, capes over the shoulders, even hats wrapped around their floppy ears.

One canine, 4-year-old Nino, had a blue Brazil outfit wrapped around his small body. His owner said it was to protect against a rash. But she had no medical excuse for the baseball cap over his head. It was her son's idea of showing support after Brazil won a penalty shootout with Chile.

Nino's Sunday morning playmate, a 6-year-old mutt named Nina, had more straightforward attire: a plain yellow jumper featuring Neymar's No. 10.

"I think it's cute," said her owner, Luiza Jatoba, 54. "It's in honor of the World Cup. These days it's the only thing we think about."

— By Aron Heller — www.twitter.com/aronhellerap

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Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Follow AP journalists covering the World Cup on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_Sports/world-cup-2014

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