World Cup 2022, Argentina-Mexico 2-0

At the Lusail Stadium, the first half without shots on goal for the Albiceleste, then Leo and the Benfica player shouldered the match and kept alive Scaloni’s hopes for the round of 16

L’Argentina lift your head up World Cup 2022. After the sensational misstep with Saudi Arabia in their debut, the team of Scaloni beat Mexico 2-0 Well yes back on track to win a place in the round of 16. With a lot of aggression and little precision, the first half at the Lusail Stadium ended without any shots on goal from Albiceleste. Then in the second half Messi (64′) unlocks the match with a left footed razor from the edge e Fernandez (87′) puts the result in the safe with a big right foot.

THE MATCH
A flash from Messi and a magic from Fernandez relaunched Argentina in Qatar. Two very heavy goals for the standings, but arrived in the final part of a complicated and painful match against Mexico. Net of Leo’s plays that turned on the light and dispelled fear after an hour of play, Albiceleste certainly didn’t shine even against “Tata” Martino’s men. Neither in terms of rhythm and intensity, nor in terms of the game and competitive malice. Nothing to do with the very bitter debut in Qatar, but in any case not a great test of strength for one of the main favorites for the final victory in the presence of a Mexico that is perhaps too closed and cautious.

With his back against the wall after the debacle with Saudi Arabia, at the Lusail Stadium Scaloni shuffles the cards to shake things up. But Argentina’s start is too confused, imprecise and fearful. Attitude that allows Mexico to defend in order, close the spaces well and restart with Lozano and Vega. The first ring comes from a free-kick on the trocar, but Moreno arrives late and the action vanishes. Then the match immediately gets stuck in the median between hard clashes and wrong supports. A “dirty” game that favors the Mexican bunker and defuses the greater technical rate of the Albiceleste. In search of space and solutions, Messi retreats a few meters, widens to the right and makes Di Maria move to the other side. But that’s not enough. In fact, with little movement vertically and a lot of aggression on the bearers, the match didn’t take off and the first half ended with no shots on target from Argentina and with a save by Martinez from a free kick by Vega.

The second half begins with long teams and with Argentina gaining meters and increasing the pressure. Messi tries to shake things up by attacking deep via central routes, but Mexico closes the lines at a slow pace and holds up the impact. At least until game time. Then Messi takes care of giving the shoulder to the match, unlocking everything with a left-footed razor from the edge that joins him to Maradona in the ranking of Argentine strikers at the World Cup. Goal that breaks the balance and together with the substitutions triggers a second part of the match with more space and opportunities. Especially for Argentina. Molina has the doubling ball on his right foot, but shoots high. Then Messi commits Ochoa and Fernandez secures the result with a round spell. Network that closes the accounts and relaunches Argentina. Now below with the Poland obstacle on the way to the round of 16.

THE TABLE
ARGENTINA-MEXICO 2-0
Argentina (4-3-3):
Martinez 6; Montiel 5.5 (18′ st Molina 6), Otamendi 6, Lisandro Martinez 6, Acuna 6; De Paul 6, G. Rodriguez 5.5 (12′ st Fernandez 7), Mac Allister 5.5 (24’st Palacios 6.5); Di Maria 5.5 (24′ st Romero 6), Lautaro Martinez 5 (18′ st Alvarez 6), Messi 7.
Available: Armani, Rulli, Foyth, Tagliafico, Paredes, Pezzella, Correa, Almada, Gomez, Dybala. All.: staircases 6
Mexico (3-4-1-2): Ochoa 5.5; Araujo 6, Montes 6, Moreno 6; Alvarez 5.5 (21′ st Jimenez 6), Herrera 5.5, Guardado 6 (41′ Gutierrez 6), Gallardo 5.5; Chavez 6; Vega 5.5 (21′ st Antuna 5.5), Lozano 6 (28′ st Alvarado 5.5).
Available: Talavera, Cota, Vasquez, Arteaga, Romo, Rodriguez, Funes Mori, Pineda, Sanchez, Martin, Alvarez. All.: Martin 5.5
Referee: Bearded
Scorers: 19’st Messi (A), 42’st Fernandez (A)
Ammonites: Montiel (A); Araujo, Gutierrez, Herrera (M)
Expelled:
Note: recovery 5′ + 6′

THE STATISTICS
– Lionel Messi has scored eight goals at the World Cup, joining Maradona and Stabile, only fewer than Batistuta (10) among Argentina players.
– Lionel Messi has scored in six consecutive caps for Argentina, he has never had a longer streak for the national team (six also between November 2011 and September 2012).
– Enzo Fernandez (21 years 313 days) is the youngest Argentine to score at the World Cup since Lionel Messi in 2006 (18 years 357 days).
– Only Thomas Müller (16 – 10 goals, 6 assists) has been involved in more goals since the 2006 World Cup than Lionel Messi (14 – 8 goals, 6 assists).
– Lionel Messi has joined Diego Maradona as the Argentine with the most World Cup appearances (21).
– Lautaro Martínez’s strike in the 40th minute was Argentina’s first late strike at the World Cup since 1966.
– Argentina had just one shot in the first half and have never done worse in a first half at a World Cup since 1966.
– Andrés Guardado is only the sixth player to participate in five different World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022), as well as the third Mexican to do so, after Antonio Carbajal and Rafael Márquez.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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