This was about sports, everyone agreed, about competition on the pitch, about the run-up to the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia. Not about politics.
But when the U.S. and Mexican national teams clashed here Sunday at the capital’s fabled Azteca Stadium, the specter of President Trump and his harsh comments about Mexicans provided a provocative backdrop.
“This also has to do with Mexican pride,” said Cesar Marquez, 28, who was watching the match on one of the giant television screens set up at a billiards bar in the capital’s trendy Condesa district. “The United States may be very strong, but in football, we Mexicans are always better.”
Marquez and his girlfriend,...