By Simon Jennings
LUSAIL, Qatar (Reuters) – Stunning finishes from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernández gave Argentina a 2-0 win against Mexico in a pulsating atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday and put the South Americans’ World Cup campaign of the World of Qatar on the rails.
Surprised by a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in their opening Group C match, Argentina knew a loss to Mexico would knock them out of the tournament but they got off to a bad start, struggling to cope with Mexican pressure on the way out. , and Messi had neither time nor space to act.
The Argentine captain was anonymous in the first half, he shot over the crossbar, while Argentina failed to create any good chances to open the scoring.
But when he received a pass from Angel Di María just nine minutes into the second half, Messi was not mistaken, sending a low shot through a crowd of defenders to find the corner. Fernández doubled the advantage in the 42nd minute with a wonderful curved shot from inside Mexico’s penalty area.
The victory took Argentina to second place in their group with three points, one behind leaders Poland, their opponents in the last match of the group stage. Saudi Arabia are in third place, level on points with Argentina but with a lower goal difference.
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