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Montevideo, February 7th 2023 - 07:33 UTC

 

 

World Cup: Argentina still in contention

Monday, November 28th 2022 - 10:08 UTC
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Mexican fans pull Falklands card to mock Argentina supporters in Qatar Mexican fans pull Falklands card to mock Argentina supporters in Qatar

After Mexican fans staged bravados against those of Argentina in Qatar with chants regarding the Malvinas/Falklands issue, the South Americans Saturday stood up to their historical superiority and scored a 2-0 victory that kept them in contention for a berth in the next round.

Read also: Mexican fans pull Falklands card to mock Argentina supporters in Qatar

Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia, who had shocked Argentina with a 2-1 win in their opening game, lost 2-0 to Poland, who now lead Group C after their tie with Mexico.

In addition to incidents between fans, Argentine 1990 keeper Sergio Goycochea now a TV commentator, got involved in an on-air argument with a Mexican supporter who stood in the way with obscene gestures during his live broadcast as tension grew in the hours leading to the game.

“Sorry, it's not that we are violent. We are working. He stops there. The cameraman tells him to leave because he is interfering with our work and on top of that he makes obscene signs behind the camera. It's not that we're crazy and we're fighting with anyone,” Goycochea explained.

“I don't want this aggressive issue to remain; I am far from being aggressive,” but the Mexican fan had been disrespectful, Goycochea insisted on Argentine state TV.

On the pitch, Lionel Messi pierced through Mexico's fierce defense for an opener, and substitute Enzo Fernández added to the tally to secure the two-time champions' win. “It was the only time Fernández gave Argentina some joy,” read jokes on social media regarding the namesake of President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK).

In the end, Mexico's Argentine coach Gerardo Martino chose not to send on fellow Argentine striker Rogelio Funes Mori, whose potential presence against the team he once played for had created additional controversy. Funes Mori is resisted by Mexican fans despite his effectiveness.

In other games played Saturday, Australia beat Tunisia 1-0, and reigning champions France advanced to the second round with a 2-1 victory over Denmark with two goals from star Kylian Mbappé.

The previous day hosts Qatar were dealt their second straight defeat. Senegal won 3-1. And Ecuador drew 1-1 with The Netherlands. Qatar are still to play the European team but with already no chance of advancing

In Group B action, England and United States drew 0-0 while Iran beat Wales 2-0. The Europeans were left with ten players when Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar sent off goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey for a foul on Mehdi Taremi. It was the first red card in the tournament.

Sunday saw Japan beaten 1-0 by Costa Rica, who thus came back to life after a 7-0 loss to Spain, who in turn were tied 1-1 with Germany.

Far away from Qatar, Brussels was all violent after Belgium lost 2-0 to Morocco. Around 150 people, some of them wearing Moroccan T-shirts or carrying Moroccan flags, caused destruction and fires. They set fires, and smashed cars and traffic lights, causing the closure of streets and subway stations. Police intervened with tear gas and water cannons.

Brussels Mayor Philip Close advised residents not to go to the city's downtown area. “The police put all its means to maintain public order. I have ordered the police to proceed with administrative arrests of the rioters,” he said on social media.

Morocco lead the series together with Croatia, who had no trouble overcoming a 1-0 deficit after only 66 seconds for a final 4-1 win over Canada, who thus joined the ranks of those with no chance of moving on to the next phase.

Croatia and Morocco lead the series with 4 points each at the end of the second matchday, while Belgium has 3 and Canada, already eliminated, has no points.

Monday's schedule features two attractions for South American viewers: Brazil will play Switzerland and Uruguay take on Portugal. Other matches to be played Monday in Qatar are Cameroon v Serbia and South Korea v Ghana.

 

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