Argentina vs Mexico – Maradona’s men through to face Germany
Argentina looked in cruise control on their way to a 3-1 win over Mexico but for the second time in a day a major refereeing gaffe will undermine the scoreline.
Diego Maradona’s side, who have become 3/1 favourites for the World Cup, will not dwell on the controversial manner of their opening goal for too long, though, as they now have the daunting prospect of Germany in Saturday’s quarter-final.
After a beginning which Mexico had shaded, Carlos Tevez headed Argentina in front. But he was about two yards off-side when Lionel Messi played his through ball.
Tevez’s first goal of the tournament was then played back to 80,000 crowd who could all see the linesman’s error, prompting a Mexican wave of protest.
A defensive howler from Ricardo Osorio then let Gonzalo Higuain in who rounded Oscar Perez to make it two and become the World Cup’s leading scorer with four goals. He looks a strong bet for overall Golden Shoe and is the 7/4 favourite for the title.
After half-time Tevez smashed a legitimate piledriver to make it three and confirm Argentina’s place in the next round. Tevez is 16/1 to win the Golden Shoe.
A superb solo effort from ever-alert Javier Hernandez gave Mexico a glimmer of hope with twenty minutes left but Argentina managed to see the game out with minimum fuss. It’s now 4/6 for a South American winner of the tournament.
The same can’t be said about the fall-out from another glaring mistake that could prey on the minds of officials in future games.