The second goal Argentina scored in their 2-0 victory over Mexico on Saturday was assisted by Lionel Messi, who now holds the World Cup assist record.
After a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the two-time world champions Argentina were under immense pressure going into their second Group C match. They also knew that a loss to Mexico would mean elimination from the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
In addition to scoring against Saudi Arabia, Messi also scored against Mexico, tying the score in the 64th minute with a low drive from outside the penalty area.
Three minutes from time, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner set up Enzo Fernandez to score his first senior international goal and secure Argentina’s victory and keep their hopes of making it to the round of 16 alive.
After assisting on a goal in 2006, 2010, 2014, and now 2022 in addition to two goals in 2018, Messi has now broken his own record becoming the first player in World Cup history to do so at five different tournaments.
Since the start of the 1966 World Cup, the Psg star is now both the youngest as well as the oldest player to have both a goal and an assist in a single World Cup game.
In the 2006 group stage match against Serbia and Montenegro, Messi was 18 years and 357 days old. Now, at the age of 35 years and 155 days, he has accomplished the same feat in the match against Mexico.
Messi, meanwhile, has tied fellow Argentine legend Diego Maradona’s World Cup goal record of eight goals after 21 finals appearances. Maradona also scored eight goals in 21 appearances on the largest international stage.
Since the start of the 2022–23 season, Messi has been on fire in front of goal, scoring 19 goals and dishing out 15 assists in 24 matches for club and country in all competitions.
Following their victory over Mexico, Argentina has moved up to second place in Group C and is currently one point behind the group’s leader, Poland. La Albiceleste will play Poland in their final group match on Wednesday.
Argentina had never failed to defeat Mexico at a World Cup and had never dropped their opening two games. They had their 2022 tournament on the line, and they didn’t intend to back down in front of a crowd of anxious fans at Lusail Stadium.
There have been exciting moments in this tournament, and they frequently called for endurance. That was once more the case as Argentina’s Lionel Messi won it, giving them a great chance to win Group C.
If Saudi Arabia fails to defeat Mexico, Lionel Scaloni’s team will need to win in order to finish first in the group. Otherwise, a draw would be sufficient to advance.