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Tevez inspires Argentina win
Published : 27 Jun 2010 21:50:04Rss feed
Two goals by Carlos Tevez - one hugely-controversial and the other a wonderful strike - sent Argentina through to the World Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory over Mexico.
The offside rule states there should be two players between the striker and the goal - there was not even one when Lionel Messi's ball found Tevez's head, and then the net to put Diego Maradona's side in front.
Mexico went into meltdown and a defensive howler by Ricardo Osorio allowed Gonzalo Higuain to make it 2-0. It was Tevez who sewed the match up in brilliant fashion - and legitimately this time - early in the second half with Mexico left only to savour a stunning reply by Manchester United's new signing Javier Hernandez.
Two incidents within the opening 10 minutes had Argentinian hearts in mouths. First Carlos Salcido crashed in a thunderous drive from 30 yards that Sergio Romero just touched onto the crossbar, then an equally terrific strike by Andres Guardado whisked agonisingly past the post.
Javier Hernandez turned away from his marker and slammed a shot wide but then came Tevez's offside goal and Mexico lost their heads.
First skipper Rafael Marquez earned himself a needless booking for showing his frustration, then there was real calamity when Osorio scuffed a pass across the edge of his own box, Higuain seized onto the ball and kept his cool to round Oscar Perez neatly and slide home.
Any hopes Mexico had ended soon after the restart thanks to Tevez's 52nd-minute blistering strike into the top corner from 25 yards out. Tevez ran to the bench for a wild embrace with Maradona that seem to last an eternity.
It was left to Hernandez to rescue some pride for Mexico. The 22-year-old had just sent a header over despite being unmarked, but then he left Martin Demichelis standing with a superb turn and lashed the ball high past Romero to give Mexico a slim lifeline.
It probably shaded Tevez's strike and will go down as one of the goals of the tournament.
Argentina shut up shop after that and Mexico barely had another sniff. Messi's increasingly desperate search for a goal continued as Perez denied him in injury time.