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Andrés Guardado set to miss Mexico’s crucial game against Saudi Arabia

The captain of El Tri had to be replaced in the 40th minute in the 2-0 loss against Argentina due to an injury he picked up during the match.

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - NOVEMBER 26: Andres Guardado of Mexico gestures during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at Lusail Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Khalil Bashar/Jam Media/Getty Images)
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Andrés Guardado made his 179th international appearance in Mexico’s 2-0 loss against Argentina over the weekend and he became the sixth player to participate in five FIFA World Cups. The captain of El Tri was having a solid performance against Lionel Messi and co, but in the 40th minute he asked to be replaced.

The 36-year-old picked up an injury after a clash against Rodrigo De Paul, and Erick Gutierrez took his place for the remainder of the match. Following the defeat, Guardado trained with the rest of the group, but he might not recover in time to see minutes if needed by head coach Gerardo Martino in the last game of the group stage.

Crucial match of Mexico

The Mexican national team still has a possibility to advance to the knockout stage, even though they sit at the bottom of Group C with one point and no goals scored in two games. Mexico can advance in second place if they defeat Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and then check the result between Argentina and Poland who will be playing simultaneously.

If El Tri defeats Saudi Arabia and Poland beats Argentina, then they won’t need a positive goal difference to secure second place in Group C. Things become a little bit more complicated if Argentina defeats Poland, because Mexico needs to beat Saudi Arabia by a large margin to break the three way tie between the three remaining teams.

Mexico has a difficult task ahead of them because they have yet to score a goal in their last four World Cup appearances. The last time they found the back of the net was during the 2018 World Cup when they defeated South Korea 2-1 on matchday two in Group F.

Following that win, El Tri lost 3-0 against Sweden, 2-0 against Brazil, tied 0-0 against Poland and lost 2-0 against Argentina. Mexico has at least advanced to the round of 16 since 1986, but if they failed to secure a spot to the next round this year, it will be the first time since 1978 that they couldn’t make it past the group stage.