The goals of Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez deserved Argentina a 2-0 win over Mexico in a thrilling atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday and kicked off the South American side’s World Cup campaign.
Stunned 2-1 by Saudi Arabia in their Group C opener, Argentina knew defeat would rule them out of the tournament but they started poorly, struggling to cope with from Mexico high press as Messi was denied the time and space to operate.
The Argentina captain was anonymous in the first half, and his only notable contribution was a header that exploded over the bar as his side failed to carve out a good chance.
But drafted by Angel Di Maria just outside the Mexican penalty area in the 64th minute, Messi fired a low shot through a crowd of defenders in the corner. Fernandez followed in the 87th minute with a magnificent curling effort to secure the win.
The victory lifted Argentina into second place with three points, one point behind the leaders Polandwhich they will face in their last group match.