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Mexicans out for revenge

2010-06-25 13:02
Mexico's Rafael Marquez will be a key to Mexican success. (AP)

Johannesburg - Mexico will be looking to avenge their defeat at the 2006 World Cup finals when they take on two-time winners Argentina on Sunday for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Four years ago in Germany, the teams met at the same Round of 16 stage and a stunning extra time goal by Maxi Rodriguez sealed a 1-0 win for Argentina, who later went out to hosts Germany in the quarter-finals.

Argentina and Mexico meet again at Soccer City on Sunday and Mexican midfielder Gerardo Torrado insists his team will "play to the death" to beat their illustrious opponents, coached by Diego Maradona.

In previous encounters, Argentina have 11 wins compared to Mexico's four with ten games drawn, and Javier Aguirre's Mexico side will need to pull something special from the bag to create an upset.

Argentina struggled with an unconvincing qualification campaign for this World Cup, but since their arrival in South Africa have looked impressive, and three wins in Group B have put them amongst the favourites for the title.

But the 31-year-old Mexican captain Torrado says his side will set out to claim the prized scalp of Maradona's side.

"We have an encounter ahead which we have to enjoy, but we will play to the death to win it," he said on FIFA.com.

"In this game (against Argentina) we have to continue advancing and to follow our dream so we will not lack attitude.

"We must play aggressively and look to put their goalkeeper under pressure."

Mexico are hopeful 21-year-old Arsenal striker Carlos Vela will be fit for the match as he returns to training after a hamstring injury having missed the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in their last Group A game.

Argentina's attacking prowess is without question, especially as Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick against South Korea, but they are more susceptible at the back.

The Mexicans will need all the front-line firepower they can get and Vela returned to training with the squad on Thursday.

While Argentina have swept Nigeria, South Korea and Greece aside to make the last 16, their talisman Lionel Messi is going through something of a goal-drought though the Barcelona ace is creating chances.

"I'm not worried about it - obviously I'd prefer them to go in, but it's not a big deal," he said.

"What's important is that we keep playing well and that the team wins. With a bit of luck, I'll score against Mexico."

The winners of the match will play either England or Germany, who also play on Sunday.

Key to the match

With seven goals from three group stage games, Argentina have proven they can score with or without Messi's contribution, but Mexico must find a way to unpick the lock on the Argentine defence.

If Vela is fit, he will need to help provide some finishing to a Mexican side who have scored three goals in three games.

They need to make sure Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero has a busy afternoon if they are to have any chance of making the quarter-finals.

Read more on: argentina mexico

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