5 Matches That Remind Us Why Argentina Is Mexico’s Soccer Nightmare

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Mexico will be playing a friendly game against Argentina tonight in Dallas. The match will be the last one before El Tri finally faces off against the United States in the 2017 Confederations Cup elimination game next month, so there will be plenty of speculation about how well El Tri will do against La Albiceleste, as a good outcome will undoubtedly give a boost of confidence to the seleccionados after their questionable Gold Cup victory and 3-3 tie against Trinidad and Tobago last week.

After all, La Albiceleste has been El Tri’s worst nightmare in international soccer over the past few years, so a victory would not only be a huge confidence boost, but it would also put an end to the terrible relationship Mexico has built with Argentina in the world of soccer during the last few years.

These are the most recent and painful losses El Tri has suffered against the Argentines.

2010 World Cup–Argentina vs. Mexico (3-1)

Mexico had played a historic first round. They defeated then World Cup subcampeones France and eliminated a World Cup host in the first round for the first time in history. Like in the 2006 World Cup, Mexico faced Argentina again in the second stage of the tournament and unfortunately for them, the result would not be much different. A terrible mistake by the assistant referee, another one by Mexican defender Ricardo Osorio, and an amazing out-of-box goal by Carlos Tevez put an end to El Tri’s possibilities of reaching the desired fifth game.

2007 Copa América–Argentina vs. Mexico (3-0)

Mexico looked invincible with then-sensational player Nery Castillo. They had defeated Brazil 2-0 in the group stage and Paraguay 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Although looking for revenge from the 2006 World Cup, Mexico was unable to stop a maturing Messi, who led his team to an outstanding victory.

2006 World Cup–Argentina vs. Mexico (2-1)

For the first time in history, Mexico was seeded as head of a group in a World Cup (while not being a host team), so expectations were high. In the infamous fourth game, Mexico went head-to-head against Argentina and was ahead in the game by the sixth minute thanks to a goal by defender Rafael Márquez. The game went overtime after Hernán Crespo tied the game in the first half. Mexico kept the pressure on and winning the game was still on the horizon, but Argentine player Maxi Rodriguez pulled a sapo and scored the best goal of his career a few minutes before the penalty kicks.

2005 Confederations Cup–Argentina vs. Mexico (1-1; 5-4 penalty kicks)

This is probably the best El Tri has ever played, so much so that their participation in this tournament led to them being placed as a head of group team in the 2006 World Cup. The game went overtime, where Mexican player Carlos Salcido opened the score, which was tied minutes later by Argentinean Esteban Cambiasso. The game went to a penalty shootout, with a still confident Mexico, as evidenced by current Seattle Sounders’ midfielder Gonzalo Pineda’s Panenka penalty kick. Despite the fancy play by El Tri, Ricardo Osorio missed the last penalty kick and Argentina went on to play the final against Brazil, who El Tri had defeated in the first round.

1993 Copa América–Argentina vs. Mexico (2-1)

It was Mexico’s first time as an invitee to Copa América, so reaching the final was already a huge achievement; winning it would have simply been an unprecedented accomplishment. Despite playing a good game, historic Argentinean striker Gabriel Batistuta would put an end to El Tri’s dreams, and score two goals to give a 2-1 victory to La Albiceleste.