Johannesburg: Carlos Tevez scored two vital goals for Argentina to help the South Americans win 3-1 against Mexico in their pre-quarter final clash in Johannesburg.
Messi looking for his first goal, was instrumental again though he was not able to find the netting in the match. He was rattling the Mexican defense with his terrific run and managing to find shots from tight areas to keep the Mexican defense on their toes.
Mexcio however were the first side to come close through Carlos Salcido who hit a thunderous long range shot which was denied by the cross-bar. Just few minutes later, Andres Guardado drilled in a shot from the edge of the box that spun away from the far post just as the net looked set to bulge.
But there was no stopping Messi just moments later, in the 12th minute he won back possession for Argentina and made his trade-mark run to chip a shot over the Mexican defense but his shot was collected by the goalkeeper, Oscar Perez.
Mexicans were looking sharp as well, very positive and taking their chances looking for the opening goal. They were marking well and defending well not giving spaces for the Argentina players.
Tevez put Argentina ahead in the 26th minute, a controversial goal after Messi chipped in a shot towards the goal, finding Perez out of position and Tevez guided his chip shot to the back of the net. He seemed to be in an offside position when the ball was released by Messi. Though the Mexicans surrounded the linesman and protested for the goal, the linesman stood firm with his decision.
Clearly frustrated by the decision against them, caption Marquez seemed like he had lost his cool and was pulled by the referee for foul play and was booked right after the goal.
Higuain scored the second goal for Argentina after a horrible mistake by Ricardo Osorio , who lost control of the ball and Higuain made him pay with his fourth goal of the tournament.
Argentina around the 36th minute were looking for their third goal when Higuain again made a quick turn and made an attempt on goal but his attempt was denied by the goalkeeper.
Towards the end of the first half Higuain again got a golden chance from an excellent cross from the right flank to make it three goals for the Argentinians but his header was wide of the mark.
Mexico had a good chance to pull one goal back just before the end of the half time after an excellent ball in the Argentina penalty box, but the ball failed to find an outstretched leg of Javier Hernandez.
As second half resumed it was Argentina who started brightly with 52nd minute goal by Tevez. Tevez scored the third goal for Argentina with a sublime strike from outside the Mexican penalty area.
After the goal the Mexicans searching for their first goal were pushing forward and did manage to create some half-chances. On the other side, the Argentinians really seemed to be content with their three goal lead and were just looking to contain the Mexicans.
After a good period of play by the Mexicans, they were finally rewarded with a deserving goal in the 71st minute. Javier Hernandez thrashed a superb left-footed goal to pull one back goal for the Mexicans. The goal was only the second one conceded by Argentina in the tournament.
Argentina, with this win go through to the quarter-final stage and will meet Germany at Cape town.