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.
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|
|Delph impressed by ´special´ Sancho|
|Bolt may give up on football career despite ´a lot of offers´|
|We´re better than Dortmund – Wagner urges Bayern to respond|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Martinez hails Hazard leadership|
|Muller going through ´difficult´ period, says Low|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|WATCH: Ronnie O´Sullivan hits blue with calamitous break-off shot|
|Matuidi: Mbappe has a great personality, like Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan|
|Cilic beats Isner to hand Djokovic semi-final spot|
|Mendy undergoes knee surgery|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|Ramos refuses to retaliate after Lovren jibe|
|Qatar pull off shock win over Switzerland|
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|
|Chelsea and Everton among Arnautovic suitors, claims agent|
|TJ Watt hopes to win NFL sacks race with brother JJ|
|Modric defends Ramos after Lovren comments|
|Southgate hails ´outstanding´ Delph as he talks up England strength in depth|
|No war with Manchester United over Fellaini, insists Martinez|
|Rooney to wear number 10 shirt against USA and receive armband from Delph|
|I don´t feel pressure of Liverpool expectations, claims Klopp|
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Reus and Kroos to sit out Germany´s clash with Russia|
|Van Dijk happy to recommend De Ligt if Liverpool ask|
|Sauber announce launch of junior programme|
|No ´breathtaking tennis´ in Djokovic´s win against Zverev|
|Curran: England spinners will be key in Kandy|
|Djokovic charges past Zverev to move closer to ATP Finals progression|
|Messi is a football alien - Malcom|
|Sky´s the limit for Sancho, says Dortmund team-mate Pulisic|
|Radwanska retires from tennis at 29|
|Maybe one day - Pulisic open to Premier League move|
|Suso ´proud´ of Real Madrid speculation but happy at AC Milan|
|Betis president convinced Lo Celso will stay|
|Injured Holder out of Bangladesh tour|
|Germany face relegation, final spots up for grabs - Nations League state of play|
|James Rodriguez out for several weeks with knee injury|
|Curran´s brilliant fifty rescues England´s innings|
|Lenglet: No problem with Dembele at Barca|
|Townsend rings the changes for Springboks clash|