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Saturday, February 4, 2023

2022 FIFA World Cup: Lionel Messi’s brilliant strike inspires Argentina to victory over Mexico, keeps knockout hopes alive (Video)

Lionel Messi’s brilliant strike inspired Argentina to 2-0 victory over Mexico, to keep their knockout hopes alive on Saturday. 

Lionel Messi was once again Argentina’s saviour with the breakthrough goal in a 2-0 win over Mexico at Lusail Stadium to ignite his side’s World Cup campaign.

Poland’s 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabia earlier on Saturday left Argentina needing to avoid defeat against Mexico if they were not to exit the competition after just two games.

Argentina put their shock 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia behind them thanks to Messi’s long-range opener after 64 minutes and Enzo Fernandez’s equally-as-impressive late strike.

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Lionel Scaloni’s men join Saudi Arabia on three points and are one point behind Group C leaders Poland, who they face in their final match, while Mexico are bottom on one point.

Argentina made five changes on the back of their opening loss, three of those in defence, and they failed to register a meaningful attempt in the first half.

Mexico went closest to opening the scoring before the interval through an Alexis Vega free-kick that called Emiliano Martinez into action.

The quality only marginally improved in the second half, but out of nowhere Messi controlled Angel Di Maria’s pass and fired a low shot past Guillermo Ochoa from 25 yards.

That strike took Messi level with fellow great Diego Maradona on eight World Cup goals for Argentina, who added a second through substitute Fernandez.

With three minutes left, the Benfica midfielder received a pass from Messi following a short corner, worked his way into the box and curled away from Ochoa into the top corner for his first Argentina goal.

Watch the video of Lionel Messi’s below;

Magical Messi makes the difference

On the day he equalled both Maradona’s national appearance (21) and goals record (8) at the World Cup, Messi made the breakthrough with a superb strike and then assisted substitute Fernandez for Argentina’s killer second goal.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has now scored in six successive games for Argentina, with that his joint-best run for his country (also six between November 2011 and September 2012).

What’s next? 

Argentina will meet Poland on Wednesday, while Mexico will face Saudi Arabia in Group C’s thrilling finale. With all four teams still able to go through.

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