Argentina have finally arrived at WC with win over Mexico

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LUSAIL, Qatar — Lionel Messi said Argentina has finally arrived at the World Cup after his goal helped beat Mexico 2-0 at Lusail Stadium.

Shocked by Saudi Arabia in their opening Group C match, Argentina bounced back on Saturday to put themselves in a position to qualify ahead of their final game against Poland on Wednesday.

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A defeat to Mexico would have meant an early exit in Qatar.

But Messi, who scored the first goal with a superb touch and finished in the second half, said Argentina’s campaign has finally started.

“We knew we had to win today, that another World Cup was starting for us and we knew what to do,” he said. “We can’t let our guard down now and we still have all the finals to go.

“We knew the reaction from our fans would be like this and I think we complied.”

Messi scored his second of the tournament to finally break the deadlock against stubborn Mexico, who started well at Lusail Stadium.

Substitute Enzo Fernandez got a late second to secure the result.

But afterwards, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni acknowledged that it was Messi who changed the course of the match.

“He controlled the game because he knows how to do it,” said Scaloni. “He has a group behind him that supports him. The game changed because we have great players and also Leo.”

After the match, Messi also had to address injury concerns.

There was speculation ahead of the World Cup that he was suffering from an ankle problem and he admitted that he twisted it during the defeat to Saudi Arabia.

He was also at the end of some tough challenges against Mexico, but was able to finish the match.

“I don’t know why so many things were said about it,” Messi added. “The other day everyone was talking about my ankle and I had nothing wrong with that. But then at the last minute [against Saudi Arabia]I rolled it over.

“I said all week I had nothing wrong with it and then I twisted it at the last minute. But it’s fine. I was just able to train normally with the team after that and I never trained alone at any point.” moment.”

With his goal, Messi tied with Diego Maradona’s number of World Cup goals and appearances.

The 35-year-old captain scored two of Argentina’s three goals here in Qatar. Messi is Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer, leading them to last year’s Copa America victory and winning the Ballon d’Or, a record seven times.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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