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Goals from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez saw Argentina defeat a dogged Mexico team 2-0 and keep their World Cup hopes alive.

Messi’s moment arrived in the 65th minute. Collecting the ball on the edge of the box he drilled a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner past the fingertips of Ochoa.

While the first goal was from a player in his last World Cup, the second came from a man at his first. 21-year-old Fernandez collected a short corner from Messi on the left-hand side of the box. A feint past a defender gave him enough space to curl a beautiful shot into the far corner.

This was not where the storyline looked to be heading. In the first half Mexico picked up where Saudi Arabia left off, pressing high and not allowing Argentina to play out from the back.

Argentina could find little meaningful possession in the final third. The second half saw an increased intensity before Messi’s goal changed the game.

Messi and Maradona now have an equal record of 8 goals in 21 World Cup appearances. If Messi is to match Maradona’s World Cup trophy tally, a lot more is required from him and his team.

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June 2024
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