Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper for Argentina, has referred to the match against Mexico in Group C as his nation’s “first World Cup final.” Argentina is looking to get back on track after suffering a shocking loss in the first match against Saudi Arabia.
The defeat at Lusail Stadium was Argentina’s fourth in their past six World Cup matches (W1, D1), which is as many as they had in their previous 25 in the tournament. Additionally, the loss put an end to Argentina’s lengthy unbeaten run, which had reached a total of 36 matches.
Argentina, who were widely considered to be among the tournament’s favorites to go all the way in Qatar, now find themselves in danger of an early exit and require a response. Aston Villa keeper Martinez is rallying the troops in preparation for Saturday’s match at the same venue as the earlier match.
“We’re suffering a lot from our first loss [in more than three years], and on top of that during the World Cup,” he added. “We’re hurting a lot from our first defeat [in more than three years].”
“We anticipated playing as if it were the championship game, but we didn’t do that. We let ourselves become a little too comfortable when we scored the first goal, and it cost us dearly. This Saturday will be our very first appearance in a World Cup final.
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The South Americans have not lost to Mexico in their last ten meetings, which date back to the 2004 Copa America. Additionally, Argentina has won all three of their previous World Cup meetings against Mexico, which took place in 1930, 2006, and 2010. This gives Argentina an advantage over Mexico in terms of history.
The Mexican national team has struggled to find the back of the net in this year’s World Cup. They have failed to score in each of their past three games, including their opening encounter against Poland, which ended in a scoreless draw thanks to Guillermo Ochoa’s penalty save on Robert Lewandowski.
Ochoa, who is 37 years old and taking part in his fifth World Cup, has never advanced past the round of 16, and Mexico has been eliminated at that stage in each of the last seven tournaments. Mexico’s best performance at a World Cup was reaching the quarterfinals in 1986, which was their home tournament.
Ochoa has had a lot of success with Mexico on the international stage, garnering 132 caps for his country, but he would give it all up if his country could get to the quarterfinals of the World Cup and tie their best-ever finish there.
After the score was tied with Poland, he said that he would “trade everything” in order to go to the fifth game. “Everything, I would give everything to get to the fifth game.”
A victory for Mexico would give them a significant boost in their attempt to advance to the knockout stages and could end Argentina’s tournament. This would give Mexico the opportunity to exact some measure of revenge for their loss to Argentina in their previous meeting at the World Cup, which took place in 2010.
This occurred in the round of 16, when Argentina defeated Mexico 3-1 courtesy to a brace scored by Carlos Tevez. The first of Tevez’s goals was disallowed because it was scored offside, and this was shown on the large screens inside the stadium, which naturally infuriated the Mexican team.
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Argentina: Lautaro Martinez
Inter striker Martinez was unable to get past the opposition’s high line, which resulted in him being denied two opportunities to score his first World Cup goal during the team’s loss against Saudi Arabia. Both of these opportunities were thwarted by the offside flag. Martinez was the only player from Argentina to be called offside many times during the encounter (three, also Angel di Maria).
Martinez will need to become more engaged in the action since he only touched the ball 25 times throughout that loss. This was less touches than any of his teammates, with the exception of Julian Alvarez (12), who came on as a substitute 58 minutes into the game.
Lautaro Martinez – Touches versus Saudi Arabia
Mexico: Alexis Vega
Vega was the only player for Mexico who attempted five shots during their match against Poland, four of which were taken from within the box of the opposing team. On the other hand, not a single one of his shots on goal was successful in hitting the target.
Vega shown in that game that he will get into dangerous areas and create an offensive threat for Mexico. However, he will need to be more decisive in the final third of the field. Vega had six touches inside the box of the opponent.
Alexis Vega – xG map versus Poland
Argentina’s record of 13 consecutive triumphs over non-European sides, which dated back to 1990 and ended with their defeat to Saudi Arabia, came to an end with the loss, and the South Americans had never lost consecutive World Cup matches against teams from outside of Europe before.
Our very advanced algorithm predicts that run will continue, with Argentina having a 60.7% probability of triumph compared to Mexico’s 17.4% chance of achieving what would be an unforgettable victory.