Messi stored Argentina’s World Cup hopes alive with a superb strike

Lionel Messi opened the scoring in opposition to Mexico with a surprising aim from vary as Argentina gained 2-0.

Sensible objectives from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez led Argentina to a 2-0 win over Mexico in an electrifying environment on the Lusail Stadium on Saturday.

The end result has given new life to the South American group’s World Cup marketing campaign after they suffered a shock defeat of their Group C opener in opposition to Saudi Arabia.

Argentina knew one other defeat would see them out of the competitors, however Messi was denied the time and house to function they usually began poorly to deal with Mexico’s excessive stress.

Messi broke the impasse within the sixty fourth minute with a low shot by a crowd of defenders within the nook to equal Diego Maradona’s Argentina file of 21 appearances and eight objectives on the World Cup.

The Argentine followers, who made up the vast majority of this 88,966-strong crowd, erupted. Greater than 5,000 Argentina followers already stay in Qatar.

Lionel prepares to take a corner.
Messi took the nook which led to Enzo Fernandes’ aim [Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

Enzo Fernandez sealed the victory with a surprising aim within the 87th minute. From an Argentine nook gained on the left, Fernandes was in a position to slalom in the direction of the nook of the penalty field earlier than unleashing some high quality strike into the highest proper of the aim.

In doing so, Fernandes turned the youngest participant to attain a World Cup aim for Argentina since Messi in 2006.

“At this time begins one other World Cup for Argentina,” Messi stated after the ultimate whistle. “The one factor I inform individuals is that they consider.

“Within the first half we did not play in addition to we wished and after we calmed down within the second half we began to play the ball higher.”

Having misplaced all 4 World Cup matches in opposition to Argentina, Mexico have one level and have to beat Saudi Arabia, who’ve three factors, to qualify for the spherical of 16, as they’ve finished within the final seven World Cups. .

Egypt's Karima Mohamed cheers for Mexico with a raised fist as he wears a sombrero with the word Mexico written on it and a Mexican flag draped over his body.
Egypt’s Karima Mohamed was one in every of Mexico’s enthusiastic supporters on the Lussell Stadium [Julio Cortez/AP]

With Argentina prone to be eradicated earlier than the sport, tensions had been excessive on and off the ball within the first half, with the 2 followers creating an electrical environment inside and outdoors the stadium.

The opening interval did not stay as much as the match’s billing, with neither group desirous to get too many gamers ahead and, with Mexico’s Luis Chavez saving a ninth-minute free kick that went huge of the goalmouth, there have been few possibilities.

Mexico’s excessive urgent sport stifled most of their opponents’ assaults and Argentina’s talisman Messi struggled to seek out house to maneuver by the center of the gang.

However Mexico suffered a significant blow when captain Andres Guardado, a veteran of 5 World Cups, who by then was a dominant presence in midfield, was taken off with an damage within the forty second minute.

The Mexicans carved out two extra possibilities earlier than the break, with Alexis Vega first curling a free kick over the wall to avoid wasting keeper Emiliano Martinez earlier than hitting the bar a couple of minutes later.

The South People seemed extra decided after the break however had no probability earlier than their 35-year-old captain pulled them out of bother along with his second aim of the match, reigniting their probabilities of a first-ever World Cup title.

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