Lionel Messi scored one and assisted another to beat Mexico in crucial clash of World Cup 2022 second game of Group C.
World Cup 2022 Highlights – Argentina 2-0 Mexico as Lionel Messi’s stunning goal helps keep his World Cup dream more alive than ever.
Argentina’s skipper also deliver an assist as substitute Enzo Fernandez added a late second as Lionel Scaloni’s side moved up to second in Group C behind Poland.
Argentina came into the game knowing defeat would mean elimination after their shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. Messi and co knew that things must improve.
Following the Saudi Arabia defeat, Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni shook things up with making five changes to his team, with Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez and Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister among those included.
But there was no sign of improvement in a goalless first half, with Messi unable to influence proceedings and Lautaro Martinez cutting an isolated figure ahead of him.
Mexico looked more threatening in the first period, but, like Argentina, they struggled to produce any real moments of quality.
Then it cam after the one-hour mark when Messi finally found himself in a pocket of space around 25 yards from goal, taking a touch to control Di Maria’s pass before rifling an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
The goal sparked wild celebrations among Argentina’s players and fans, before substitute Fernandez ran onto Messi’s pass following a corner and dispatched a sublime finish from the left-hand side of the box.
Mexico offered little in response, registering only four shots in total. Argentina celebrated a victory that maintains their hopes of qualifying for the last 16.
A difficult final group game against Poland awaits Argentina, while Mexico is on the verge of an early exit.
Mexico = Argentina’s favorite clash in 16 years
The regional neighbors has always been Argentina’s favorite clash. Argentina are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings with Mexico in all competitions (W8 D3) since a 1-0 loss in the 2004 Copa America.
Messi level Maradona and more records set
- Lionel Messi has scored in six successive appearances for Argentina, his joint-longest ever scoring run in international football (also 6 between November 2011 – September 2012).
- Lionel Messi has now scored as many World Cup goals as Diego Maradona (8), with only Gabriel Batistuta (10) netting more for Argentina at the tournament overall.
- The PSG also had an assist in five consecutive World Cup since 2006.