Lionel Messi scored a sublime goal and assisted another for Argentina in a 2-0 win over Mexico
The Albiceleste were faced with possible group stage elimination had they lost this game having already previously dropped points to Saudi Arabia in the opening round of games.
Mexico also needed a favourable result to keep their Qatar 2022 hopes alive which made for a keenly contested encounter at the Lusail Stadium.
Lionel Messi saves Argentina yet again
Mexico defended resolutely in their 3-5-2 formation which frustrated Lionel Scaloni’s men and stifled their ability to create clear scoring chances, especially in the first half.
The second half continued in the same pattern with Argentina trying and failing to make things happen and Mexico sitting deep and hoping for the best.
The longer this went on, the more it became apparent that a moment of individual brilliance is what was needed, cue Lionel Messi.
The legendary number 10 took matters into his own hands as he took advantage of a touch outside the box and drilled a 25-metre effort past Guillermo Ochoa in the 64th minute.
The 35-year-old would not stop there as he set up substitute Enzo Fernandez in the 87th minute to wrap up the three points for Argentina and clinch their first win of this World Cup.
That goal means Messi now has two at this World Cup and eighth in his total World Cup appearances.