Pretoria (South Africa): Mexico will get the
chance to erase a grudge nursed for four years when it meets
Argentina in the World Cup second round on Sunday.
At the 2006 World Cup, Argentina beat Mexico - thanks to
an extraordinary Maxi Rodriguez goal - in the round of 16 and
fate has conspired to match the two sides at precisely the
same stage of this year`s tournament.
"I have a thorn in my side from four years ago and
hopefully on Sunday we can take it out," said midfielder
Rafael Marquez, who scored Mexico`s solitary goal in that 2-1
defeat in 2006.
But the challenge looks formidable against Diego
Maradona`s attack-minded team, which everyone wants to avoid
this time around.
And it`s not just the prolific strikeforce of Lionel
Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez that the Mexicans will
need to contain in Pretoria.
Playing in midfield will be that man Maxi, who`d settle
for any winner tomorrow rather than a repeat of his 2006
"I`ll be happy if I can just tap it in," he said Friday.
"What happened in that game is history now. The important
thing is that the team wins and progresses."
The two teams have played each other 25 times, of which
the Mexicans have only won four.
But Mexico, so shaky in qualifying, turned it on when it
counted in South Africa, beating 2006 runner-up France 2-0 on
the way to finishing second in Group A.
Argentina, unbeaten in its group and capable of scoring
goals from all over the field, is expecting Javier Aguirre`s
team to be solid at the back and not take too many risks.