Mexico 2-2 Argentina: A game to help us forget our burning desire to get domestic league action back underway. Despite botching a heroic 2-0 lead in the final five minutes against the number one ranked Albiceleste, El Tri can (and should!) hold their heads up high. Not only did Mexico manage to outperform the world’s top team at times in front of 82,559 people at AT&T Stadium (coming so, so close to winning, something they haven’t done for 10 years since a 1-0 win over Brazil in the Confederations Cup), but the squad has also now gone 10 games undefeated and looks to be in excellent form ahead of a crucial October 10 matchup vs. the U.S. It’s safe to say that #OperacionTuca is off to a solid start.
If you had the mala fortuna of missing this game, never fear – the always-posting @miseleccionmx has your back. Their #HistoriaDelPartido just about says it all:
This partidazo between fútbol giants brought a number of noteworthy moments, the first of which was Chicharito Redemption Time! Rather than harping on the forward’s missed chances in the run of play (he was very much in on goal with a few minutes left to play in the first half among other opportunities, and was arguably Mexico’s worst player during the night), we’re going to highlight his perfectly-placed penalty in the 19th minute. Louis van Gaal, we hope you were watching.
Much has been made of Guillermo Ochoa’s omission from Ricardo Ferretti’s side, but the second revelation of the night was the fantastic play of Club América goalkeeper Moisés Muñoz, who kept Mexico in the match with sublime saves against some of the best attacking players in the game.
Speaking of the best attacking players in the game, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi did what they do best in the final five minutes: destroying the hopes and dreams of their opponents. Kun Agüero converted on an error in the 85th before lofting an absolutely gorgeous pass over Oswaldo Alanís to find Messi in the 89th. You can guess what happened next:
Finally, it would be unjust to conclude a piece on this match without mentioning the eternal Rafael Márquez, the sostén de la defensa mexicana. As I’m sure is the case with many others, this guy has been a legend of mine since my earliest days of fútbol fandom, and he’s showing no signs of stopping. Márquez may not be as quick or agile as he was in his earlier years, but the 36-year-old is still incredibly savvy in his positioning, distribution, and leadership abilities.