Qatar 2022: Argentina announce themselves with statement win
FIFA World Cup Mexico Argentina

Argentina have arrived at the 2022 FIFA World Cup thanks to a moment of brilliance from Lionel Messi which brought the game to life.

Argentina were on the cusp of history going into the game. If they had lost, they would have exited the tournament at the group stages for only the second time since the beginning of their 18-year run of consecutive appearances (if you discount the now defunct second round). If they won, they would be mirroring Spain who started the 2010 tournament in a similar fashion only to go on and win it.

Lionel Messi kept good on his promise to Argentina fans that the team would not let them down. His goal started the 30 minute blitz of action in the second half which eventually led to another goal from Enzo Fernandez to provide assurance to the Albiceleste.

Mexico will feel hard done by the loss. But they will have the opportunity to qualify when they face Saudi Arabia on the last day of the group stages. They could even finish in first place on goal difference if the Argentina vs Poland game goes awry.

Messi makes history

Argentina felt the most pressure of every team in the tournament after their shock loss to Saudi Arabia in their opening Group C match.

Mexico, meanwhile, were galvanised but the Asian's loss and hoped to pull an upset against Argentina, who they had never been able to beat in the tournament.

The start of the game gave Argentina fans cause to worry. Messi and his teammates looked lost in possession and were dispossessed easily by the Mexicans, who themselves could not break the rock solid pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Lisandro Martinez for Argentina.

The first half ended goalless with Argentina dominating the possession but being unable to create anything of note.

The second half started in a similar fashion, but this time, Argentina were more resolute in possession. Mexico defended with their lives until Messi sparked the game to life with a beautiful finish from 25 yards out.

The goal wrote Messi's name into the World Cup records book. He became the only player to hold the record of being both the oldest and youngest player to score and assist in a World Cup game. He also became the first and only player to assist a goal in five World Cups.

And for Argentina, he matched Diego Maradona's World Cup goal and match tally - eight goals in 21 appearances - a day after the second anniversary of the legendary midfielder's passing.

Mexico took it as a warming and changed their tactics to an attacking one, which played into Lionel Scaloni's hands. The former Argentina midfielder then set up his team to defend with three at the back and to attack the wings.

After a brief period where both teams traded attacks, Messi passed the ball to substitute Enzo Fernandez, who buried the ball beautifully past Guillermo Ochoa.

Argentina have now given us both the most shocking loss and the most important win of the ongoing tournament and fans are dreaming of 2010 all over again.