Argentina - Mexico summary: Messi and Enzo goals, score, goals, highlights 2-0 | Qatar World Cup 2022
Argentina 2-0 Mexico: as it happened
AND THAT IS IT!
FT: Argentina 2-0 Mexico
Messi. That is my match review.
OK, I'll do a proper one:
When his team needed him the most, Messi arrived. He appeared out of nowhere to receive a pass across the box and his shot was driven in with all the frustration that the whole country had shown in the time leading up to it.
Mexico were delightfully stodgy in defence, they charged down every pass, every attempt a dribble, every header was theirs and if it wasn't the second ball certainly was. Tata Martino's side fought like they were the ones on the verge of going out, but two moments of class saw the result slip away. They have it all to do in the final round.
Enzo Fernández made the result look a lot simpler than it was with a wonderful effort near the end but before that, and especially in the first half, Mexico were controlling the game even if they saw less of the ball: Argentina were fully rattled for a long time.
I could repeat that sentence a thousand times over but I'd still have to end with 'but the other team had Messi'. And that's what I'll do.
It's by no means certain that they'll get through, they still have Poland and Lewandowski to contend with, but it's by no means impossible. And that will do just fine.
Follow Argentina vs France in the 2022 World Cup final with AS USA. We'll have all the pre-match news ahead of kick-off at Lusail Stadium - which is at 10am ET - before bringing you minute-by-minute commentary of the action.
It's now Tuesday 13 December and in case you have stumbled across this older feed, allow us to redirect you to the first semi-final of the 2022 World Cup, Argentina vs Croatia.
Joe is the man in place with our live coverage to take you through all the build up ahead of the game, bringing you team news and various insights into the two sides.
And then from kick off he will carry you all the way to when the final whistle blows and we have our first finalist in Qatar confirmed. You'll not want to miss out!
Thank you for following the coverage of Argentina 2-0 Mexico - it was a fun one, eventually!
Here's Jen with the complicated business of what each team in Group C need to qualify.
The party is just getting started.
I have a feeling that people will be dancing on well into the night!
And here's what Mexico need...
Erm, it's not pretty. Basically, it's not in their hands anymore.
Argentina fans still singing inside the stadium
Something tells me it will be a while before they leave...
I don't think many people are going to complain about this decision...
I mean, who else was it going to go to?
Messi is currently out on the pitch, singing and dancing along with the fans. It's a true party out there.
Emi Martínez post-match comments:
"Messi is the best in the world, he gets one chance and he does that."
"We give everything for this shirt."
Messi post-match comments:
It was a tough game, it was difficult for us to get into a rhythm"
"Mexico are a good side, tough to play against and they have a great manager."
"We lacked intensity in the first half; in the second we came out better, we moved the ball quicker and we were calmer."
"The goal helped us and then we felt the emotion from the fans, the euphoria."
"It was a game we had to win."
"It was a difficult first game, it was the first World Cup game for a lot of players, but I don't want to make excuses, it was a bad performance.
Here is how things look in the group:
1. Poland - 4 pts +2 (goal difference)
2. Argentina - 3 pts +1
3. Saudi Arabia - 3 pts -1
4. Mexico - 1pts. -2
The final round of fixtures: next Wednesday
Saudi Arabia vs Mexico
Poland vs Argentina
Mexico goalless - again
It's now four consecutive matches for Mexico at the World Cup with no goals scored. Something needs to change if miracles are to happen against Saudi Arabia next Wednesday!
Martínez will launch the free kick deep into Mexico's half.
Messi fouled on halfway. That could be it...
Less than 60 seconds to go...
Mexico pushing for a goal.
Argentina dropping back deep into their own half, happy to defend.
Into the last minute of added time.
Lisandro clears a Mexico cross.
Got to feel bad for Mexico, they've performed brilliantly all game, but individual moments of genius have moved the scoreboard out of their favour.
Acuña down receiving treatment. Looks like cramp.
Álvarez tries to make it three but the ball is stolen away from him as he arrives at the box.
6 minutes added on.
AND IT'S A BEAUTY
De Paul plays the corner short to Messi who slips in Enzo on the corner of the box. The midfielder feints left then goes right before bending a beautiful effort towards the far corner and past Ochoa. The celebrations are electric and powerful across the stadium, all of the nervousness that had built up has just been fired into the atmosphere.
Acuña wins a corner after kicking the ball against Araujo's leg after he fails to beat him.
Argentina have just dropped back 10 metres or so, which has invited Mexico to step up. Corner for Mexico and all the tall men are up. Five to go.
Cleared. De Paul fouled on the counter.
Mexico have defended pretty much perfectly all game, they haven't lost their concentration once. I'm not counting the goal, because I don't even know how Messi got into that position.
Free kick for Mexico on the right wing, swung in by Chavez. Martínez collects.
Into the last ten minutes now... Argentina are second in the group as things stand.
CLOSE FROM MESSI
A quick break sees Julián Álvarez break away down the left but Messi can't reach his low cross.
Messi himself then tries to do the same down the left but the ball runs out of play.
The contrast between the fans is striking: the goals has flipped the situation completely. Blue and white flags are flapping everywhere.
OFF: Chucky Lozano, Vega, Álvarez
ON: Alvarado, Jiménez, Antuna
Argentina with a spark about them, now. They've found their mojo and have started to ping the ball around.
Chance for Molina!
Acuña spoons an awkward cross in from the left to the opposite corner of the box and Nahuel Molina decides to hit an even worse shot into the stands.
Argentina fans are filling the stadium with noise.
OFF: Di María and Mac Allister
ON: Romero and Palacios
Messi takes the ball from the right, takes a touch to open up his body and slides a ferocious shot from the edge of the box into the bottom right corner of the bottom right corner of the goal. Absolutely perfectly placed, perfectly struck and perfectly celebrated, almost with tears in his eyes. It cam from nothing and ended in everything.
Only one man was going to find the spark. Only he was going to be able to find space where it didn't exist and on top of that put the ball in the net. He's given his team a lifeline when they needed it most, just as he's done for his whole career but maybe this time is the biggest occasion of them all. Lionel Messi, ladies and gentlemen.
More changes for Argentina :
OFF: Lautaro and Montiel
ON: Álvarez and Molina
Argentina really need to step it up a gear if they are to break the deadlock here.
Mexico are pressing machines, stepping up at the perfect moment on every occasion. It's a tough job concentrating so intensely for so long, but for now they're doing it well.
Free kick for Mexico out on the right, Vega to swing in...
Otamendi does a very acrobatic backwards header to save his side. The cross was fiercely whipped in.
Messi goes into Terminator mode, blasting his way past 3 Mexico players, but his attempt at a through ball to Lautaro is cut out.
First move from Scaloni:
OFF: Guido Rodríguez
ON: Enzo Fernández
A misunderstanding between Messi and Acuña as the PSG forward plays a chipped ball from deep into the left channel, but Acuña doesn't move.
He's not Jordi Alba, Leo.
CLOSE FROM ARGENTINA
Di María did well down the right but Mac Allister couldn't get on the end of the cross.
Every time Messi drops he is being not double but triple-marked; Guido Rodríguez can't find him at all in the build-up.
Messi steps up...
OVER THE BAR
A poor effort. But I got jelly legs just watching, so I'm nobody to judge.
De Paul stood next to the ball with Messi. The most hopeful man in the world.
Messi brought down in a place where he would dream of taking a free-kick: 25 yards out, just to the right of the D.
Messi still trying to drop deep in search of something, but Mexico are not giving up one inch of space.
Lozano makes a diagonal run with the ball towards goal, but his shot is blocked.
Álvarez whips it back in towards the forward but Otamendi clears.
Foul by Araujo on De Paul in the middle of the pitch. A few nervy touches from Argentina already.
OK, are we ready? Let's go!
Lautaro kicks off; Argentina right to left now.
I knew you were waiting for it
The Sofascore boffins showing just how much of a bath of treacle this game has been...
There you go...
A stat that sums up the half perfectly, and it's the most basic of them all. Argentina running through Mexican mud.
And that's all!
HT: Argentina 0-0 Mexico
I can feel the nerves and frustration along with that lingering sense of 'what if?' that is invisibly buzzing around the stadium like a fly behind the curtain. Argentina have huffed and puffed and by the end they managed to make progress, even if their reward was a few corners and some wide free kicks.
Mexico have stood strong throughout the half, closing down pretty much everything Argentina have tried both in the centre of the pitch and out wide. Di María has tried his luck on the left and on the right and all that's left for Messi to do is put on the goalkeeper gloves and go in net.
The best chance was... do I have to answer that? Vega's free-kick was close, but Martínez saw it all the way; a couple of close offsides for Lozano might have seen things turn out differently had he not rushed, but the match is quite even in all areas of the pitch.
CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA
Dancing feet from Messi who plays it out to the left, but the cross is put out for a corner.
Less than a minute to go and Vega hits a thunderbolt from 30 metres that sails over the bar.
Vega is such a pest. He's always there, annoying the defenders with quick dribbling and relentless running. Probably why Nico Otamendi was annoyed earlier.
Otamendi looks very angry and I don't know why.
5 minutes added on.
SAVED BY MARTÍNEZ!
It was a beautiful, curling shot whizzed towards the top-left corner, but the Aston Villa goalkeeper got two strong hands to it.
Montiel booked after a late challenge.
Dangerous free-kick 29 yards out for Mexico, just to the left of the D. Vega will take. He's staring at the goal.
Mexico make a change...?
OFF: Guardado (he must be injured)
The corner was taken quickly to Di María, who whips a cross in, but Lautaro heads over.
Corner for Argentina. They're creeping closer and closer...
Slick passing move from Argentina who work the ball out well from the back and actually manage to get all the way to the byline.
Probably the nicest thing they've done all game, and that's saying something, as it's a goal kick for Ochoa.
Argentina with a bit more zip about them in the last few minutes, they seem to be moving the ball quicker. Still not getting through the Mexican wall, though.
He curls the ball towards Ochoa who punches it in the air. Lisandro Martínez fouls the goalkeeper as he jumps to catch it.
De Paul taken down on the right side of the box after the corner fell to him. A good opportunity for Argentina. Messi is stood over the ball, and when he does that, things usually happen.
Di María switches wings to the left and instantly earns Argentina their first corner of the match.
Argentina have had zero chances so far, and haven't found a way to get through Mexico's defence. De Paul has lost the ball lots and there appears to be a rising level of frustration between the players.
Chucky called offside by the linesman, and he responds by pointing to his eyes.
He was a metre offside, at least. Nice try.
Foul by Acuña close to the corner flag. A good chance for Mexico to calm things down after a long spell of possession for Argentina.
Not so much a chance, but it's as close as Argentina have got.
Montiel sends a cross towards the far post, but it sails over. He was offside anyway.
Yeah, it's that bad for Argentina right now.
An attempt from Lautaro to find Messi on the edge of the box ends in a huge clearance from Moreno and a lot of happy Mexican faces.
First yellow of the game goes to Araujo for a rough challenge on Acuña.
Argentina vs Mexico
If you're keen to follow the Argentina vs Mexico game in Spanish, our colleagues over on AS.com are covering it.
A move from the training ground.
Guardado passes the ball and it's lofted high into the box; Dibu Martínez comes out to collect.
Twenty minutes gone and the best chances have come from Mexico, who have looked fairly dangerous on the counter attack where Vega has been lively.
Free-kick for Mexico after Otamendi fouls Chucky. A central position, about 35 metres out.
Lots of angry faces in blue shirts as Guardado hits the deck after clashing with Lautaro. Frustration already surfacing...
Argentina still can't find a rhythm on the ball.
Lautaro loses the ball facing his own goal but Chucky Lozano can't get it out from under his feet quick enough. Otamendi steps in and pokes it away.
Vega steals the ball (again) and heads for Martínez in the Argentina goal. He gets about 35 yards out before he loses the ball. He has looked dangerous so far.
Argentina's players are struggling to find their friends, as Mexico are being really annoying and pressing them in all four corners of the pitch. It makes for great viewing, but not if you're an Argentina fan.
Messi drops all the way back in between Montiel and Otamendi to try and progress the ball. Tackled in an instant.
Mexico are sitting in a 5-4-1 while Argentina's defenders have it. Then, when the ball gets played into the middle line, they pounce. It's working very well so far.
And Hector Herrera nearly makes contact!
That was a close call for Argentina!
Free kick for Mexico after the ref calls for a foul on the left wing. Vega to whip it in...
This is the referee, by the way. Mr Orsato.
Vega does well to win the ball back from De Paul and plays in a dangerous cross down low. Argentina clear.
Corner for Mexico.
We're back underway...
Mexico continue to press like crazy green beetles.
Mexico counter attack... pulled back by the referee. Vega the man who has been penalised after he made contact with Montiel. It wasn't serious, but that counter was.
Some great footwork from Messi in a deep central area sees him skip past two players before Di María tries the same. Argentina have started seriously.
Mexico are sitting with a very long line of 5 defenders and three tight central midfielders, clearly looking to block all potential paths.
A bit of loose possession for both sides but Argentina look to play through Mexico's high press.
Here we go!
Mexico kick us off right to left.
The teams are out and lined up!
National anthem time!
Argentina : a long build up... I thought it was going to start about 5 times before it actually did. Other than that, a nicely performed song. And a big cheer afterwards.
Mexico : Very lively, very well shouted by all, despite being a bit long. Early points for El Tri from me.
The teams are in the changing rooms now and the customary huge World Cup trophy is sitting in the centre circle, inside a ring of fire. Strobe lights are flashing around the stadium like huge lightsabers.
There's something I never thought I'd write.
Told you it was hotting up!
If things are this lively outside, imagine what it's like on the inside!
A huge roar from the crowd just now as Messi's name is read out - will be able to save his side today?
Fifteen minutes to go! The teams are just finishing their warm-ups now and the fans are making their way to their seats... it's hotting up at the Lusail Stadium!
The teams are out and warming up!
Just ten minutes to go until they run inside for the final team talk. Lots of serious faces on the pitch; in the stands, it's a mixture of fear (Argentinians) and hope (Mexicans).
So, we've got about 20 minutes or so to go, more than enough time to digest the possible outcomes for Argentina.
And here is the Argentina starting XI
Just in case you wanted to see a photo of Lautaro. Any excuse. Even with that haircut.
Here's the confirmed Mexico XI
Just in case you wanted the official tweet with fancy graphic, it's here. I didn't forget.
We have the line-ups!
Argentina : 4-3-3
Montiel, Martínez, Otamendi, Acuña
De Paul, Guido, Mac Allister
Lautaro, Messi, Di María
Mexico : 5-3-2
Gallardo, Montes, Araujo, Moreno, Kevin
Guardado, Herrera, Chávez
While we wait, here's some information on the man with the whistle today, Mr Daniele Orsato.
We've not got the starting XIs just yet, but as soon as we do, we'll let you know!
So, we all know that lad Messi is quite good, but how many goals has he actually scored for Argentina?
Luckily for you, Will did the research.
Mexico's dressing room ready for the team
Another positive about tonight's game is that we're going to see two teams wearing their home kits. This makes me happy (although both teams have gorgeous away shirts).
Joe's pre-match preview
I am so excited for this game. Like those kids before they go into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. I want to jump in the river of chocolate and swirl around in it.
Anyway, Argentina :
Messi was quick to find a microphone after the Saudi Arabia loss to tell everyone "there are no excuses. Now, it's the time to focus on strength and the unity of the group. It's time for us to be more united than ever. It's time to calm down."
Scaloni will apparently go with Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María and Julián Álvarez up front, and potentially Guido Rodríguez and Alexis Mac Allister behind them with De Paul, given Paredes is a doubt and Papu is out. Manchester United centre-back Lisandro Martínez has also been tipped to start.
If Argentina lose, it will be only the second time they have gone out in the Group Stage (10 points if you can remember the last time they did, and a bonus point if you remember the manager) and the first time they've gone out with a game to go in the Group Stage.
Tata Martino will look to break the goalless curse that has been cast over Mexico for the last 3 games at the World Cup. If only they had a young, exciting forward players, right? Sorry, let's not open that box of worms.
Their game against Poland will not feature on the highlight compilation at the end of the tournament, except perhaps for Memo Ochoa's penalty save against Lewandowski. It is probable that the América goalkeeper has to have another stellar night against Argentina's front three, and Edson Álvarez will need to have geo-tracking on his VR goggles locked onto Messi to follow the Argentine's runs from deep.
My apologies, I almost forgot. If you want more football (yes, there is always more) check out the live coverage of France vs Denmark.
It says 0-0 in the title, but is it really? Have a peek.
Old teammates facing each other
Yes, that is Tata and Scaloni in the same lineup for Newell's Old Boys, way back in 1995.
Mexico could end up top of the pile.
Of course, if Mexico win, they could end up top of the group and inpole position to make it through to the next round for the EIGHTH consecutive time!
I had Mexican food for lunch today, so let's see if that helps.
Here's how things look:
Sorry, I can only make the same face as when I eat a lemon. It's not pretty...
Poland - 4 pts (2 games played)
Saudi Arabia - 3 pts (2 games played)
Mexico - 1 pts (1 game played)
Argentina - 0 pts (1 game played)
How are we doing, Argentina fans?
Argentina can take some comfort from the fact that they are unbeaten in their last TEN games against Mexico, with El Tri last beating them in 2004, a 1-0 win in the Copa América. Added to that, they have scored two or more goals in their last seven games against Mexico.
The South Americans have also win all three meetings at the World Cup, in 1930, 2006 and 2010.
How are we feeling for this one?
Hello and welcome to the huge game we've got today - it's Argentina vs Mexico! It's Joe here and I'll be taking you through the game today.
We all know the severity of this match: if Argentina lose, they're out. Simples.
The Mexicans have a point already so they can play with a little more freedom, but I'm sure they'd love nothing more than to make Lionel Messi a sad man.
Argentina goalkeeper Dibu Martínez has called it "a final", which it kind of is (although it obviously isn't).