Lionel Messi now has as many World Cup goals as Diego Maradona (eight), with only Gabriel Batistuta (10) scoring more for Argentina in the competition

Lionel Messi produced a moment of trademark magic to help keep Argentina’s World Cup hopes alive with victory in a tense encounter against Mexico.

In a cauldron of noise at Lusail Stadium, Messi and Argentina knew defeat would end their hopes of reaching the last 16 after only two games following the stunning loss to Saudi Arabia in their opener.


The tension was mounting as Mexico frustrated Messi in an attritional game, especially in a first half littered with fouls and stoppages that never allowed Argentina to gain any momentum.

Messi changed all that after 64 minutes when he took one touch to control a pass with his left foot before drilling an unerring finish past Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

The masses of Argentina supporters in a crowd of 88,966 went wild in celebration and relief as their World Cup campaign got back on track.

Enzo Fernandez added a superb second with a curling shot into the top corner three minutes from time but it was Messi who made the breakthrough and the difference.

Victory in a tough final Goup C game against Poland will send them into the knockout phase.

More to follow.



Formation 4-4-2


11Di María7De Paul18Rodríguez20Mac Allister

  • 23Martínez
  • 4MontielBooked at 43mins

    Substituted forMolinaat 63’minutes

  • 19Otamendi
  • 25Martínez
  • 8Acuña
  • 11Di María

    Substituted forRomeroat 69’minutes

  • 7De Paul
  • 18Rodríguez

    Substituted forFernándezat 57’minutes

  • 20Mac Allister

    Substituted forPalaciosat 69’minutes

  • 10Messi
  • 22Martínez

    Substituted forÁlvarezat 63’minutes


  • 1Armani
  • 2Foyth
  • 3Tagliafico
  • 5Paredes
  • 6Pezzella
  • 9Álvarez
  • 12Rulli
  • 13Romero
  • 14Palacios
  • 15Correa
  • 16Almada
  • 17Gómez Villaverde
  • 21Dybala
  • 24Fernández
  • 26Molina


Formation 5-3-2



  • 13Ochoa
  • 26Álvarez

    Substituted forJiménezat 66’minutes

  • 2AraújoBooked at 22mins
  • 3Montes
  • 15Moreno
  • 23Gallardo
  • 24Chávez
  • 16HerreraBooked at 66mins
  • 18Guardado

    Substituted forGutiérrezat 42’minutesBooked at 50mins

  • 22Lozano

    Substituted forAlvaradoat 73’minutesBooked at 89mins

  • 10Vega

    Substituted forAntunaat 66’minutes


  • 1Talavera
  • 4Álvarez
  • 5Vásquez
  • 6Arteaga
  • 7Romo
  • 8Rodríguez
  • 9Jiménez
  • 11Funes Mori
  • 12Cota
  • 14Gutiérrez
  • 17Pineda
  • 19Sánchez
  • 20Martín
  • 21Antuna
  • 25Alvarado

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Argentina 2, Mexico 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Argentina 2, Mexico 0.

  3. Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Foul by Jesús Gallardo (Mexico).

  5. Foul by Lionel Messi (Argentina).

  6. Héctor Moreno (Mexico) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Argentina).

  8. Luis Chávez (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Lionel Messi (Argentina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Foul by Héctor Moreno (Mexico).

  11. Roberto Alvarado (Mexico) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Nicolás Otamendi (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Foul by Roberto Alvarado (Mexico).

  14. Foul by Enzo Fernández (Argentina).

  15. Luis Chávez (Mexico) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Goal! Argentina 2, Mexico 0. Enzo Fernández (Argentina) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi following a corner.

  17. Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Néstor Araújo.

  18. Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Nicolás Otamendi.

  19. Foul by Exequiel Palacios (Argentina).

  20. Uriel Antuna (Mexico) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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