November 23, 2022 2 min read 14 Comments
There is always one major shock at the World Cup finals and for each of the 32 nations involved, you do not want to be the team who makes headlines for the wrong reasons. While you certainly do not want to make such a mistake in your first encounter.
A fate that has been befitted to Argentina in this year’s tournament and after cruising into an early lead against Saudi Arabia, their Group C clash had a strong air of foregone conclusion circling around it.
However, those in the famous Argentine national jersey may want to keep their heads down for a few hours and avoid questions from journalists both in Qatar and back home. Especially as that likely foregone conclusion became nothing of the sort.
A 1-0 lead at the interval and only just warming up for more, would eventually become a stunning 2-1 win for their Middle Eastern counterparts. A result that not even the most Saudi Arabian supporter could have dreamed of earlier that morning.
At the same time, if you are going to have a poor showing at the World Cup, maybe it is better to get it out of the way early on. Something similar happened to Spain 12 years ago and after losing to Switzerland in their first outing, they would eventually go on to lift the trophy in South Africa.
Which means all is certainly not lost when it comes to the hopes of Lionel Scaloni’s men and with a litany of talent still available to be called upon, the Argentine manager should have no fears about getting the ball into the opposition’s net.
Opposition that next comes in the shape of Mexico and after they managed to hold Poland to a goalless draw in their first encounter, their own task of qualifying for the Round of 16 has just been increased in terms of difficulty.
That though will be of no concern to the likes of Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez and after being largely frustrated by the flag of the assistant referee on Tuesday morning, they will now look to take their frustration out on Mexico.
While this fixture will also contain something of a neat subplot, one that involves Messi and Mexico boss Tata Martino. Not only has the latter coached the former at international level, but he also oversaw his efforts at Barcelona.
A campaign that although started brightly, was one that would eventually see the Catalan giants lose the La Liga title on the final day of the 2013/14 season and with the stakes being so high at the Spanish outfit, it would mean Martino’s stint at the Camp Nou would end a trophyless one.
Which means although a quick handshake may be afforded to each other, any niceties will have to be put to one side for 90 minutes. Argentina need a win to reboot their hopes of World Cup success and if Messi has to break Mexican hearts in the process, then it is a case of so be it.
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