Argentina-Mexico Player Ratings: Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez shine in the decisive moments | Pro IQRA News

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Goals from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez sealed a largely disappointing 2-0 victory for Argentina over Mexico in a vibrant Lusail Stadium atmosphere and got the South American favorites’ World Cup campaign in full swing.

Stunned 2-1 in their opening match in Group C, Argentina knew defeat would put them out of the tournament but they started poorly, struggling to cope with the heavy Mexican pressure as Messi was denied time and space to work.

The Argentina captain was anonymous in the first half, his only contribution being a header note that ballooned over the bar, as his side failed to get a single decent chance. But, after Angel Di Maria picked it up just outside the Mexican penalty area in the 64th minute, Messi made no mistake, blasting a low shot through a crowd of defenders into the corner.

Fernandez then doubled the lead in the 87th minute with a great curling effort to seal the victory. The victory raised Argentina to second place in Group C with three points, one point behind leaders Poland, who played in the last group match. And Saudi Arabia comes in third place, as it is equal in points with Argentina, but with a lower goal difference.

Here’s how we rank players:

Argentina

Emiliano Martinez, 7 – He produced a satisfactory diving cam from a Vega free-kick that lacked pace late in the first half and generally seemed unfazed, not that he was tested too much.

Gonzalo Montiel – 4 – He joined Nicolas Tagliafico but looked uncomfortable on the ball with frequent heavy touches. He was booked just before the break for a late challenge on Gutierrez. After the hour mark, Molina, who started the first game, appeared at the hour mark.

Lisandro Martinez, 7 – He started in place of Cristian Romero after he struggled in the opening game. He defended well against the tricky Lozano, made plenty of tackles to stop attacks and covered the ball well when de Paul lost the ball.

Lisandro Martinez excelled in defence

(Reuters)

Nicholas Otamendi, 7 – Similar to his partner in centre-back Martínez, he helped tone down any Mexico attack and not be blamed for the way his side failed to master the proceedings. solid in the air as well.

Marcos Acuna, 5 – Like fellow full-back Montiel, he struggled to influence the game as Lionel Scaloni’s decision to replace both full-backs who started in the loss to Saudi Arabia made little difference.

Angel Di Maria, 6 – He showed occasional flashes of what he could do, but for the most part he was flattered to the deception, and had little finished product and no consistency. In a way, this game was a microcosm of his career – a great talent but a great disappointment, even though he played the ball into Messi’s feet from which the little wizard scored. Empty with 20 minutes remaining.

Rodrigo de Paul – 4 – Very disappointing. He lost the ball to Vega early on, missing several passes and one of the main offenders for Argentina not having complete control of the match in the first 60 minutes.

Guido Rodriguez – 5 years old He dropped deeper and deeper to collect the ball to try and dictate play – he spent a lot of time between centre-backs – but was always unable to start attacks and gave the ball wide too often. Substitute in 57 minutes for Fernandez.

Alexis McAllister, 5 years old A nondescript performance by the easily forgettable Brighton man he was playing. It was dumped with just over 20 minutes left.

Lionel Messi, 8 – A quiet first half in which he looked increasingly melancholic, sending a superb free-kick over the bar early in the second half seemed to sum up his style of play. However, he produced a moment of magic out of nothing to give Argentina the lead, scoring for the sixth straight game when they needed him. Perhaps at this point in his career that’s all you can really ask rather than expect him to run the entire game like he’s been doing? The ball also crept up to Fernandez to score the second goal.

Lionel Messi delivered the moment of magic that got Argentina on the board

(Getty Images)

Lautaro Martinez, 5 – A surprisingly ineffective performance from the striker as he did little for a spark-less Argentina. They scored about 60 seconds after he was substituted which makes his performance look worse.

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Enzo Fernandez, 8 – A great finish makes the game no doubt at 2-0. He ran in defense and volleyed the ball outside the helpless Ochoa. His first international target was Camel.

Julian Alvarez, 7 – Better than Lautaro Martinez when he came in and showed some decent touches with Messi. You will pay to start the final game of the group.

Nahuel Molina, 6 – The fire blazed over the crossbar with a lack of composure from a position similar to the one in which Messi scored, although the ball did bounce off a bit.

Christian Romero – 6 – She could shore things up once Argentina went 1-0 up and Mexico didn’t give much after that, so job done.

Exequiel Palacios, 7 – He pressed well and Alvarez pulled the ball back from the Mexican defender.

Mexico

Guillermo Ochoa, 5 – He unconvincingly punched straight into the air from a free kick in the first half but got away with it and then beat Messi from distance for his goal, although it wasn’t precisely his fault. I couldn’t do anything about the second.

Guillermo Ochoa was sometimes unconvincing for Mexico

(AP)

Cesar Montes, 6 years old Threatening on set-pieces, he had the only shot of the first half when he volleyed a Guardado free-kick into the goal. Mexico held Argentina for the most part, and it was very difficult to be so critical.

Nestor Araujo, 5 – An early yellow card for a reckless tackle over his head and part of a Mexican defense that didn’t close well for any goal.

Hector Moreno, 6 – The third part of the three defenders who looked solid for most of the game before switching to a back four after trailing 1-0 made them look even more vulnerable.

Kevin Alvarez, 5 – He lost in the 65th minute and offered little as Mexico switched to a four-legged defence. His place in the starting line-up will be under threat in the Saudi game, as you think.

Hector Herrera, 5 – He was shown a yellow card in the 66th minute for a foul on Acuna and although he was generally solid in front of defence, he didn’t deliver much on the ball.

Andres Guardado, 7- The 36-year-old took a hit in the first half and was forced off before the break. At least he participated in the World Cup for the fifth time, but is this the last we will see him in major tournaments? A sad way out if that was the case, especially since he was so effective in nullifying the Argentine threat while on the field – an absolute tackle machine.

Luis Chavez, 5 – Part of the midfield that left Lozano and, to a lesser extent, isolated Vega in attack. He’d like to see more of him step forward.

Jesus Gallardo, 5 – Again more in attack to help the seemingly toothless Mexico would have been appreciated by the left side player.

Hirving Lozano6 – He looked like Mexico’s most lively player up front with some neat touches as he scurried around the pitch but failed to create anything of note. His team’s defensive formation meant he was often isolated in attack and seemed genuinely annoyed only to come off with 18 minutes left in the game when his side needed a goal.

Hirving Lozano showed flashes for Mexico but was substituted late

(Reuters)

Alexis Vega, 5 years old He looked lively on the points though he faded as the match went on. De Paul pushed the ball past him and won a free-kick on goal just before half-time, although it lacked pace. Lined up in 65 minutes

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Eric Gutierrez, 4 – He came on for the injured Guardado in the first half as a likely surprise option ahead of Edson Alvarez. Messi deflected a yellow card after the break and then gave Fernandez too much space for the second goal.

Raul Jimenez, 6 – He continued with 25 minutes remaining to try and give Mexico a spark. He would start if he was fully fit, especially since Mexico desperately needs to find something in attack after another toothless display.

Uriel Antona, 5 years old Tata Martino threw in another offensive presence after Mexico fell behind but it offered little.

Roberto Alvarado, 5 – See above… you were suggesting leaving Lozano in place would have been a better call.

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