A 2-0 win against Mexico, with goals from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez, has given Argentina a big lift as they look to advance to the round of 16. As they prepared to face Poland in their last Group Stage encounter, Lionel Scaloni's squad knew that a loss would mean elimination from the tournament.
For what is widely believed to be his last World Cup appearance, Lionel Messi picked up a ball from Angel Di Maria just outside the box and buried a low effort into the bottom corner to give his side a 1-0 lead. Then, with three minutes remaining, the PSG forward switched roles and assisted on the game-winning goal, setting up replacement Fernandez for a beautiful finish after he cut inside and curled the ball past Guillermo Ochoa.
Still, with the win, they are now tied for second place in Group C, one point behind leaders Poland and with third-place Saudi Arabia, who upset the South Americans 2-1 in the first game of the competition. Meanwhile, Mexico are now in last place in their group after earning only one point during their first two games of the tournament.
Lionel Messi sets new World Cup record for assists in Mexico
Each game sees a fresh crop of record-setting performances from players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Previously, in Qatar 2022, three players—Andres Guardado of Mexico, as well as each of Argentina and the Portugal captains—made history by appearing in their fifth men's World Cup.
All three players have now been in the men's world championships five times, joining the ranks of the Mexican duo Rafael Marquez and Antonio Carbajal, as well as Lothar Matthaus of Germany. In addition, another Mexican star, Guillermo Ochoa deserves special recognition for his efforts in goal. He has been selected for five World Cup rosters, matching the record set by fellow goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon of Italy.
With his assist on Enzo Fernandez's goal in Argentina's 2-0 victory against Mexico on Sunday, Lionel Messi became the only player to have provided an assist in five different FIFA World Cup editions. He had previously established the record for most assists by himself, with one in each 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2022, and two in 2018.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward now holds the record as the youngest and oldest player to score and assist in the same World Cup match since the tournament's inception in 1966. The 35-year-old first did it against Serbia and Montenegro in the 2006 Group Stage when he was only 18 years and 357 days old; he did it again against Mexico in this year's tournament when he was 35 years and 155 days old.