Guillermo Ochoa feels it is only right that Mexico fans are finally backing Juan Carlos Osorio ahead of the match against Sweden in Ekaterinburg on Wednesday.
Supporters had often voiced their considerable displeasure with the head coach amid a series of inconsistent performances during his tenure, including a humiliating 7-0 Copa America defeat to Chile in 2016, followed by the shock 1-0 loss to Jamaica in the semi-finals of last year's Gold Cup.
That fraught relationship has been transformed into a love affair in Russia, where Mexico stunned World Cup holders Germany and then dispatched South Korea 2-1 to close in on a place in the round of 16.
"It is very deserved that the fans recognised the coach," goalkeeper Ochoa told a news conference at the team's training base.
"He's a very dedicated and passionate person, always looking to learn. He's a football almanac, he lives for football and the Mexican players."
Mexico are in a commanding position at the top of Group F, although Germany's dramatic late winner in a 2-1 victory over Sweden means, should results go against them on the final matchday, El Tri could yet fail to progress.
"We were in the airport when we heard [about the Germany goal]," Ochoa said. "Honestly, we didn't do any calculations, or mathematics.
"Regardless of how Germany did against Sweden, we were always going to play for first position in the group in the third game against Sweden."
Sweden sit third in the group, level on three points and with the same goal difference of zero as Germany, leaving Sebastian Larsson and his team-mates to make a simple calculation.
"I know that if we win, we continue," he said.
"If we win with more [goals] than Germany wins, we win the group. I'm not going to say we're a better team, but I believe in our group.
"We have shown that we can give the best teams great difficulties. We know we have to play as close to the top level as we can."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mexico - Andres Guardado
PSV star Hirving Lozano and West Ham's Javier Hernandez have grabbed the spotlight for Mexico so far in Russia, but captain Andres Guardado has been a key figure at the base of El Tri's midfield, marshalling his team-mates and combining well with fellow pivot Hector Herrera to break up opposition attacks and trigger his own team's forays forward.
Sweden - Jimmy Durmaz
A late substitute against Germany, Jimmy Durmaz gave away the foul that allowed Toni Kroos to score Germany's stunning late winner. Should he play, all eyes will be on the forward's response to the racist social media abuse he received in the wake of the incident, and which prompted Sweden's squad to issue of united condemnation of the perpetrators.
KEY OPTA STATS:
- Mexico have never won three consecutive matches at the World Cup and could become the first CONCACAF team to achieve this feat in World Cup history.
- Sweden's defeat to Germany was their first in the group stage of the World Cup since 1990, when they lost 2-1 to Costa Rica.
- Sweden's Ola Toivonen did not score in 23 matches for Toulouse in Ligue 1 in the 2017-18, failing with all 19 of his shots – at the 2018 World Cup, Toivonen has scored one goal from just two shots.
- Sweden registered just 24 per cent possession in their 2-1 defeat to Germany, their lowest figure in a World Cup match since 1966.
|Mourinho is better than Guardiola – Maradona|
|Mbappe plays down Pele comparisons|
|Don´t worry bro – Mendy responds to Trump|
|Melvin, Snitker win manager of the year awards|
|Warriors´ Green suspended for Hawks clash|
|Asensio: It´s not for me to lead Madrid|
|Rooney ready to enjoy England farewell after pressure of ´Golden Generation´|
|Ludwigsburg stun high-flying Murcia in BCL|
|Rams v Chiefs moved to LA due to Mexico City field conditions|
|Skriniar discussing new Inter contract, confirms agent|
|Former Barcelona boss Martino named MLS Coach of the Year|
|Bell fails to report to Steelers, will sit out rest of season|
|Federer back on track after dismal Thiem display|
|Udinese appoint Nicola after sacking Velazquez|
|Monaco deny they broke rules regarding youth recruitment|
|Del Bosque, Zidane, Lopetegui - The former Castilla coaches Solari follows into Real Madrid hot seat|
|Ozil rejected ´crazy offers´ from Asia, reveals agent|
|Real Madrid appoint Solari on permanent basis|
|LeVert avoids need for surgery, should return this season|
|Neuer confident despite concerns over Bayern Munich form|
|All I ever wanted to do is win, says Sixers signing Butler|
|Pogba: Coming home to United was the best feeling ever|
|Watson among four signing new Bath deals|
|Susanna Dinnage to replace Scudamore as Premier League chief executive|
|Murray commits to Brighton until 2020|
|Rooney rejected chance of pre-World Cup farewell|
|Impressive Anderson thrashes Nishikori|
|Ozil´s Germany absence a ´pity´, says Sane|
|Rooney: I´ll finish my career in the US|
|McIlroy unsure of 2019 European Tour membership|
|Australian Open dismisses concerns of Federer scheduling bias|
|Hue Jackson joins Bengals staff as ´special assistant´|
|Real Madrid confirm Reguilon injury|
|Higuain handed two-match ban for Juve meltdown|
|Kruis ruled out for England as Jones calls up uncapped quartet|
|A year on from Italy failure, Ventura leaves Chievo after four games|
|Bairstow misses out as unchanged England promote Stokes|
|Recalled Alba denies Luis Enrique bust-up|
|´Unhappy´ Christensen won´t push for Chelsea exit|
|Nadal to make Abu Dhabi comeback in December|
|Taijul helps Bangladesh tighten their grip despite Taylor ton|
|Neymar joining Real Madrid wouldn´t hurt Iniesta|
|It´s just team spirit - Livingston not worried by Durant-Green exchange|
|Trippier out of England squad with groin injury|
|Ex-Sri Lanka international Lokuhettige charged by ICC|
|Former England and Chelsea star Joe Cole retires|
|Nets offer support to LeVert following serious leg injury|
|Panenka proud Sergio Ramos imitates his penalties|
|Liverpool´s Alisson seeks patience to reach potential|
|Anthony Davis leads Pelicans, Clippers hold off Warriors in OT|
|Lindelof rues international break for Man Utd|
|Shaqiri confident in more goals for Liverpool|
|Giants too good for 49ers in crunch time|
|Southgate named honorary Yorkshireman|
|Nicky Butt: Manchester United are low on confidence|
|Criticism of Barcelona star Dembele is overblown - agent|
|Thibodeau discusses Butler trade: We thought this was the best deal for us|
|Acuna, Ohtani win rookie of the year awards|
|LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’|
|Welbeck has successful second operation on broken ankle|
|UEFA warns FFP cases can be reopened based on ´new information´|
|Foakes to keep England place for second Test|
|WATCH: Rooney looking sharp in England training return|
|Mbappe: Money in football is truly indecent|
|Djokovic back to brilliant best as Isner is beaten|
|Celta Vigo replace Mohamed with Cardoso after Real Madrid defeat|
|Joshua intrigued by Usyk, says Hearn|
|Ibrahimovic beats Rooney to MLS Newcomer award|
|Rams WR Kupp out for season with torn ACL|
|Sturridge denies ever gambling on football following FA charge|