Match Today: Argentina vs Mexico 26-11-2022 Qatar World Cup 2022
Argentina host Mexico at the iconic Lusail Stadium on the second day of Group C matches.
How quickly can the situation change. Argentina went from a powerhouse on the cusp of equaling an all-time international record unbeaten streak to a shock 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia that put their qualification to the next stage in serious jeopardy. In what many analysts have described as the biggest upset in World Cup history, Argentina's limitations coupled with the waning influence of superstar Lionel Messi have been put ahead and they now need a perfect score from the two remaining group matches to ensure progression.
Mexico conceded a scoreless draw against Poland, meaning they were both lucky and unlucky to claim the point. While they dominated possession and boasted better chances, Argentina have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five international matches 13 of Argentina's 16 matches both teams have failed to score 13 of Mexico's 17 matches both teams have failed to score Mexico have kept Clean sheets in three of their last five away matches Mexico have failed to score in three of their last five matches against South American teams Four of their last five meetings have resulted in at least one clean sheet in what is in fact a goal-setting qualifying match in Lusail.
Argentina vs Mexico
It is worth noting that not everyone expected a loss for Argentina in the opening round against the Saudi national team, as the Albiceleste team had not lost in its previous 36 international matches, which is just a match shy of equalizing Italy’s record at all.
They have won each of their last five games, scoring nineteen goals and conceding nine in the process. In addition, the last time they conceded more than once in a single game was in June 2021 against Colombia, while the fact that both goals were allowed within five minutes makes the score difficult to fathom.
However, Lionel Scaloni's side was poor, with Argentine fans criticizing the players for their shy performance in the second half, in a tournament where expectations were very high. As far as Mexico is concerned, their draw with Poland was their fifth winless run in their last seven matches, as the team produced a dominant performance on Tuesday but lacked the requisite clinical edge.
The biggest question mark has to be their recent dismal record against Argentina when they faced them away from home, with the Mexican team losing five of their last seven against them and winning just once in the process. For the record, they failed to score in four of those encounters.
Mexico vs Argentina
While the defeat for the Saudis raised a myriad of questions for this Argentine side. Firstly, the team's forwards were impressed by their opponents' high line, with Leo Messi and Lautaro Martinez repeatedly caught offside for Saudi Arabia, with three goals ruled out in the first half.
Secondly, Leo Messi's influence waned in the second half, showing that with the superstar in the latter stages of his illustrious career, more players need to step up when the going gets tough. Thirdly, Scaloni's preference for Nicolas Otamendi to start in defense rather than the in-form Lisandro Martínez was unwarranted and attracted widespread criticism, so don't be surprised if Manchester United get the nod before this. In regards to Mexico, the opening showed their apparent weaknesses as well as their established strengths.
Roberto Jimenez, on the other hand, failed to deliver the killer finishing touch in the mix, as the ill-fitting striker made his poor performance for Wolves in the match against Poland. On the other hand, Ochoa's game-changing performance reminded Mexico that they have the luxury of relying on one of the World Cup's greatest stars in moments like these, in what will surely be a psychological boost for their defence.
While logic would dictate that both teams would go for the win, Argentina have generally shown a resolute defensive performance during their recent encounters, while they must be more careful at the back after the Saudi Arabia debacle.
Mexico, on the other hand, were positive against Poland but lacked the clinical capacity in the final third to be as prolific as they would like, while they tend to struggle on the attacking end when facing Argentina.