Mexico is tied with Brazil for the longest streak of World Cups reaching the round 16 in the last seven. El Tri, however, is at the bottom in Group C and will face Saudi Arabia on Wednesday at Lusail Stadium.
Mexico was last at the soccer’s largest tournament in 1978. They didn’t make it out of their group.
It’s not as easy as winning. El Tri also needs help. They will need Poland to defeat Argentina and Lionel Messi simultaneously at Stadium 974.
This is the simplest way for Mexico to move forward. It gets more complicated beyond that. Goal difference is used if Mexico wins and Argentina, one the tournament’s favorite teams, loses.
Problem is that Mexico doesn’t have any goals in Qatar yet.
El Tri has not scored in 384 consecutive minutes at the World Cup since their second group match in Russia in 2018.
“We believe in our chance. “We believe in our chances,” stated Andres Guardado (Veteran Mexico midfielder), who is participating in his fifth World Cup. “And we will continue to try until the end,” he said.
The drought continued Saturday with an Argentine 2-0 defeat. Both teams scored in the Mexico’s opening against Poland.
Since the tournament in Argentina 44 year ago, Mexico has not been eliminated from the group stage. El Tri was not eligible for the 1982 World Cup, Spain. They were also banned from the 1990 event, Italy, for using under-20 players.
Mexico has reached the round 16 in seven of its seven previous appearances, but not further. El Tri traveled to Qatar to compete in the elusive “quinto partito” — a fifth-game — for the first time since 1986, when Mexico hosted the tournament.
Henry Martin, Mexico’s forward, stated that “in the next game we don’t have any more chances.” “We must score as many goals as possible, without worrying about what might happen in the other match.”
The lack of goals led to criticism from Gerardo “Tata” Martino, Mexico’s coach. Some of his decisions, such as the decision to let Javier “Chicharito,” Hernandez, who is the all-time top scorer, were already being questioned.
Hernandez, now playing for the LA Galaxy Major League Soccer, scored the team’s final goal in a 2-1 group stage victory over South Korea in Russia. Carlos Vela, an LAFC forward, also lost favor with the national team. He scored the other.
Martino may be searching for a job if Mexico fails to advance after playing Saudi Arabia. This team was responsible for one of the biggest upsets in tournament history when it defeated Argentina 2-1 .
Martino stated Tuesday that “not getting through would leave us with a lot of frustration.” We need to win the goals. That is what keeps us here.
Saudi Arabia was unable to pull off another upset Saturday, falling to Poland 2-0.
Herve Renard, coach for Saudi Arabia, stated that they will fight to the end and will not quit.
Nawaf Al Abed suffered an ankle injury in the match against Poland, and it was not clear if he would be available to face Mexico.