Mexican national team head coach Gerardo Martino anticipates a fierce game against Group C rivals Argentina on Saturday at the Lusail Stadium, but vows to do the impossible to earn the victory for El Tri “we will look for Mexico to win, there is no other answer.”
His side enters the game with one point after managing a 0-0 draw against Poland that saw goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa heroically save Robert Lewandowski’s penalty to keep round of 16 hopes alive. While Argentina currently boasts no points, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia to land in last place of the Group C standings.
Though the Argentine head coach is no stranger of the havoc his nation can cause on the World Cup stage, Martino insists his heart is with Mexico.
“Mexico has to win, we will look for Mexico to win, there is no other answer. I can tell you where I was born, where the sanatorium is, the characteristics of my city, but I have to do the impossible so that Mexico wins.”
But their path to three points will not be easy. Though Lionel Messi regretted his performance in the defeat vs. Saudi Arabia, the PSG figure and Argentinian players have promised to come back stronger.
Though Argentina’s negative result might serve Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano as motivation, Tata Martino reveals it may be deceiving.
“It happens because he had a bad afternoon before, what can we do? We always have to prepare the game thinking that Messi will have the best version of him. We can’t speculate that he won’t have it. Many times it has happened that in five minutes you solve a game even. We have to pay the utmost attention to him,” said Tata Martino.
Like with Poland, the game against Argentina stands as “key” for Mexico.
“I don’t think the needs are that different. For us, tomorrow’s game represents a key match. It seems to me that for both teams it is a key match. Argentina has played, especially at the beginning of the Scaloni cycle, waiting for spaces. He has been feeling much more comfortable in the last stage starring in the games. We try to make the game happen mostly with our idea, having such a powerful rival in front of us we have to think that the game may not turn out the way we expected ”, analyzed Martino.
“Sometimes drawing ends up being good and sometimes you deserve more. We do understand that we deserved to have more against Poland and that the draw does not satisfy us. Analyzing the number without looking at the development of the game is very difficult.”
Mexico needs a positive result against Argentina to keep round of 16 hopes alive. Should El Tri win, the Albiceleste would be eliminated from contention in last place of Group C.