Two lights at night. Stuck in a lackluster game against Mexico, Argentina won 2-0 thanks to two exploits from captain Leo Messi and Enzo Fernandez on Saturday at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, and relaunched themselves in the race for round of 16.
After an embarrassing defeat against Saudi Arabia when they entered the competition (2-1) last Tuesday, the Albiceleste are now second in Group C with three points, behind Poland (four points), which they will face next Wednesday. (8:00 p.m.), while Saudi Arabia (three points) will face Mexico (one point) at the same time.
But beyond the victory, crucial in order to continue the adventure in the competition, Argentina did not reassure in the game, far from it. In a soporific match, she relied on her brilliant leader, Léo Messi, who delivered his people with a superb cross shot, whipped, at the entrance to the penalty area (64th).
This but coincided with a semblance of an Argentinian highlight, a few minutes after the entry into play (57th) of young Enzo Fernandez (21 years old). If these two events then seemed fortuitous, the second but Argentine scored by the Benfica midfielder proved that they were indeed linked.
With a powerful coiled shot after a stealthy hook, Fernandez deceived “Memo” Ochoa, the Mexican veteran (37), and delivered the Argentine supporters, finally relieved. It was Messi again who gave the decisive pass to Fernandez, like a relay to his fourteen-year-old junior, promised a bright future.
Before that, Messi was mired in the Argentinian slump. It took until the last seconds of the first half to see the Albiceleste players follow up with speed and precision, when “La Pulga” (La Puce) and Angel Di Maria combined near the Mexican penalty area , leading to a dangerous Marcos Acuna cross.
The captain has long been unable to lead his team, either collectively or individually. In particular, he wasted the first solo opportunity that presented itself to him (52nd). But it was his goal that counted the most, especially since in front, the Mexicans, despite a lot of commitment instilled in the first period, did not prove dangerous when they were behind.
They will still have the opportunity to qualify if they beat Saudi Arabia, coach back to pumpkin earlier in the day by losing against Poland (2-0). This would require Argentina to lose at the same time against the Poles, which is not in the plans of Messi and Fernandez.