Lionel Messi reacts through the World Cup group match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia. AP
Doha: Argentina will search to avoid wasting their World Cup skins in Qatar on Saturday when Lionel Messi and his teammates face Mexico in a match they can not afford to lose.
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A surprising 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 famous person Diego Maradona, their 1986 World Cup-winning captain who died two years in the past this week, to encourage them towards 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 present is a tragic day for everybody and hopefully tomorrow we can provide happiness.”
The Argentines know they can not afford a repeat of their opening match in Group C.
“It was troublesome however we’re a united group, a robust group that is aware of what we would like, we find out about our opponents, we’ve already overcome many issues,” mentioned Martinez, who twice had a purpose dominated out for offside towards the Saudis.
The stunning Saudis have an opportunity to show they’re no flash within the pan after they face Poland and Robert Lewandowski, the prolific striker who remains to be searching for the primary World Cup purpose of his profession.
The Barcelona ahead missed a penalty within the goalless draw towards Mexico.
In different video games on Saturday, defending champions France may guide their place within the final 16 in the event that they beat Denmark at Stadium 974, which includes delivery containers in its design.
The French misplaced defender Lucas Hernandez to damage of their opening 4-1 win towards 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 trip towards a sturdy Tunisian aspect.
Hosts Qatar go outIn 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 group to be knocked out of this World Cup after the Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1 within the different Group A recreation to seal their destiny.
Asian champions Qatar had excessive hopes coming into the event however turned solely the second house group to crash out within the group stage, after South Africa in 2010.
Targets from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng had been sufficient to present African champions Senegal the win.
Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar’s solely World Cup purpose thus far in a deeply disappointing debut on soccer’s largest stage — it’s the first time a World Cup host nation has gone out after simply two video games.
“We want 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 shedding 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 possibility 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 had been booed off at full-time.
“A draw isn’t the top of the world for us, it places us in an amazing 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 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 house.
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 assist for the demonstrators.
They had been worthy winners towards a group diminished 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 damage time when substitute Rouzbeh Cheshmi smashed house.
The Iranians despatched their hundreds of followers wild when Ramin Rezaeian clipped in a second purpose on the counter-attack.
Brazil’s group camp introduced that famous person ahead Neymar would miss the aspect’s subsequent recreation towards Switzerland after he suffered ankle ligament harm of their opening 2-0 win towards Serbia.
Neymar is likely to be sidelined for Brazil’s ultimate group recreation towards Cameroon as properly, in response to a report from Brazil’s Globo Esporte.
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