Mexico suffered an agonising exit from the World Cup on goal difference on Wednesday despite beating Saudi Arabia 2-1 in a dramatic finale to Group C.
Second-half goals from Henry Martin and Luis Chavez secured victory for Mexico at Lusail Stadium but they finished third behind Poland after Salem Al Dawsari's late strike.
Mexico desperately pushed for a third goal in an effort to improve their goal difference as they faced elimination on FIFA fair play rules but they fell short.
"That's why we went for it," said Mexico coach Gerardo Martino. "We knew Poland had fewer yellow cards and it was necessary in that moment because of the other result.
"It's a great sadness and I assume responsibility for this huge failure."