Lionel Messi sparked wild celebrations after he scored Argentina’s opening goal in their 2-0 World Cup win against Mexico. The South Americans needed to win the Group D clash to give themselves the best chance of progressing to the knockout stages and their talisman got them on their way.
Argentina were struggling to impress against Mexico despite needing to win the game to get their World Cup back on track after their defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening game. La Albiceleste looked as if they might struggle to break the deadlock leaving their chances of reaching the last 16 in tatters.
However, Messi stepped up just when they needed it to power home a shot from the edge of the box to spark wild scenes in the Argentine support. The 35-year-old ran arms outstretched towards his adoring fans as they revelled in his success.
Messi’s goal was praised by BBC pundit Chris Sutton with the former Blackburn striker describing it as a moment of brilliance.
“We’ve been waiting a long, long time for that moment of magic – and guess who delivers?” Sutton told Radio 5 Live.
JUST IN: Man Utd target Adrien Rabiot drops future hint following failed move
“It’s a brilliant goal. You’ve got to say that Argentina haven’t looked like scoring. It was going to be a moment of brilliance. Messi just hangs out, 30 yards from goal, when the ball’s fed to him.
“He has time and space, takes a lovely left-footed touch to move the ball across his body and, with his second touch, hammers the ball on the bounce into the corner. No chance for the goalkeeper. Messi makes his mark.”
Argentina made five changes for the match but it did not make much of a difference early doors as they struggled to break down their Mexican opponents. Messi had also struggled to get into the game and was criticised by Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Joe Cole in the ITV studio at half-time.
However, Messi made them eat their words after the break as he took the game by the scruff of the neck to open the scoring in the 64th minute. His strike was later followed up by another by Enzo Fernandez in the 87th minute with the football superstar laying on the assist for his team mate.
Employers are nervous Brits will pull a sickie to watch World Cup
Spain boss Luis Enrique makes strange ‘orgies’ comment about his squad
BBC apologise after Wales vs Iran World Cup clash cuts out mid-match
The 2-0 victory breathed new life into Argentina’s World Cup hopes with a win in the final group match against Poland now enough to ensure qualification to the next round.
Their opponents now face an uphill battle after failing to win either of the first two matches at a World Cup for the first time since 1978. They will now have to beat Saudi Arabia in their final group match and hope other results go their way.