Argentina will search to save lots of their World Cup skins in Qatar on Saturday when Lionel Messi and his teammates face Mexico in a match they can’t afford to lose. A shocking 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia has left Argentina, who arrived in Doha on a 36-match unbeaten run and as one of many total favourites, in a precarious place. The Argentines mentioned they are going to draw on reminiscences of celebrity Diego Maradona, their 1986 World Cup-winning captain who died two years in the past this week, to encourage them in opposition to the Mexicans.
“We maintain him in thoughts. He was a vital individual in world soccer, and never only for us Argentines,” mentioned Inter Milan ahead Lautaro Martinez.
“At this time is a tragic day for everybody and hopefully tomorrow we may give happiness.”
The Argentines know they can’t afford a repeat of their opening match in Group C.
“It was tough however we’re a united group, a powerful group that is aware of what we wish, we learn about our opponents, we have already overcome many issues,” mentioned Martinez, who twice had a objective dominated out for offside in opposition to the Saudis.
The shocking Saudis have an opportunity to show they’re no flash within the pan once they face Poland and Robert Lewandowski, the prolific striker who continues to be on the lookout for the primary World Cup objective of his profession.
The Barcelona ahead missed a penalty within the goalless draw in opposition to Mexico.
In different video games on Saturday, defending champions France may ebook their place within the final 16 in the event that they beat Denmark at Stadium 974, which contains delivery containers in its design.
The French misplaced defender Lucas Hernandez to harm of their opening 4-1 win in opposition to Australia, including to an inventory of absences headed by Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema who limped out of the World Cup earlier than a ball was kicked.
Australia face one other tough journey in opposition to a strong Tunisian aspect.
– Hosts Qatar exit –
In Friday’s motion, host nation Qatar crashed out of their very own World Cup following a second straight defeat.
Qatar misplaced 3-1 to Senegal and have become the primary crew to be knocked out of this World Cup after the Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1 within the different Group A sport to seal their destiny.
Asian champions Qatar had excessive hopes coming into the match however grew to become solely the second dwelling crew to crash out within the group stage, after South Africa in 2010.
Targets from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng have been sufficient to offer African champions Senegal the win.
Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar’s solely World Cup objective thus far in a deeply disappointing debut on soccer’s greatest stage — it’s the first time a World Cup host nation has gone out after simply two video games.
“We wish to say we’re very sorry to the supporters, to the nation,” mentioned Qatar defender Tarek Salman.
“Now we have made them really feel dangerous about dropping two video games in a row within the World Cup.”
Senegal should now beat Ecuador to advance to the knockout section whereas the Qataris face the Dutch.
An uninspired England missed the prospect to wrap up qualification for the knockout section following a 0-0 draw with the USA.
After thumping Iran 6-2 of their opening match, England not often troubled a well-organised USA unit and have been booed off at full-time.
“A draw is not the top of the world for us, it places us in an important place within the group,” England captain Harry Kane mentioned.
England want solely keep away from a four-goal defeat by neighbours Wales on Tuesday to advance and know a victory will ship them by means of as group winners.
Earlier, Iran scored twice deep into stoppage time to stun Wales 2-0 and breathe new life right into a World Cup marketing campaign overshadowed by mass anti-government protests at dwelling.
The Iranian gamers sang the nationwide anthem earlier than their win over Wales, having opted to remain silent of their opener in Qatar in an obvious gesture of help for the demonstrators.
They have been worthy winners in opposition to a crew decreased to 10 males late within the match.
Iran, who would have been eradicated if that they had misplaced, punished Gareth Bale’s Wales within the eighth minute of harm time when substitute Rouzbeh Cheshmi smashed dwelling.
The Iranians despatched their 1000’s of followers wild when Ramin Rezaeian clipped in a second objective on the counter-attack.
Brazil’s crew camp introduced that celebrity ahead Neymar would miss the aspect’s subsequent sport in opposition to Switzerland after he suffered ankle ligament injury of their opening 2-0 win in opposition to Serbia.
Neymar could be sidelined for Brazil’s ultimate group sport in opposition to Cameroon as properly, in response to a report from Brazil’s Globo Esporte.
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