Messi: Goals will come
Argentina's Lionel Messi, right, is tackled by Mexico's Gerardo Torrado. (AP)
Johannesburg - When Lionel Messi weaved through Mexican defenders and prepared to shoot in stoppage time, it looked like his World Cup scoreless streak was finally going to end.
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But goalkeeper Oscar Perez stopped his attempt, leaving Argentina's biggest star without a goal to his name after four matches.
"I'm not concerned about it," Messi said after the match on Sunday. "What concerns me more is that Argentina keeps going like this."
The 23-year-old Barcelona star was critical of his performance against Mexico.
"I don't think I played as well as I did in previous games," Messi said. "It was tough. But it's all good. There's no problem."
There were flashes of brilliance, like the deft chip that set up Carlos Tevez's first goal. But he struggled to find space and was often tackled hard by the Mexican defenders. Too hard, said coach Diego Maradona.
"When Messi gets the ball everyone tries to kick him," Maradona said. "They don't even look for the ball. They only want to kick him. The referee didn't do anything against that."
Messi's teammates said it's only a matter of time before he scores.
"He's going to get it in," said Gonzalo Higuain, who scored Argentina's third goal against Mexico, and is the tournament's top scorer with four goals. "We know that he's the best player in the world and we have no doubt that he will get it in."
Higuain didn't think Messi was bothered by the scoring drought. "No no. A player of his quality? I don't think it affects him."
Jonas Gutierrez also praised Messi, the FIFA world player of the year.
"He's going to score soon. Messi for us is unbelievable. He's perfect and I enjoy playing with him," Gutierrez said.