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27.06.2010 23:15

Marquez out, Messi to quarterfinals

Marc Guillén

In the R16 match between Argentina and Mexico, Messi got the better of his Barca team-mate Marquez as Maradona’s men ran out 3-1 winners. Meanwhile, Dani Alves and the Brazilian side will face Chile on Monday evening.

Messi guides Argentina to the quarterfinals

Leo Messi played a captain’s game against Rafa Marquez’s Mexico despite not wearing the captain’s armband. He played in a much deeper position than with Barca although he had total freedom to move and create danger. Both Messi and Marquez were on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.

However, it was Mexico, anchored in central midfield by skipper Rafa Marquez, who dominated the opening 20 minutes and denied Argentina the ball – much to the dismay of Maradona and his assistants. It took a trademark piece of skill from Messi, together with a clear mistake by the referee, to open up the Mexico defence and turn the flow of the match around.

Messi sets up first goal

Imagen_5.jpgIn the 26th minute, Messi played a deep pass to Carlos Tevez from the edge of the box. The Manchester City striker failed to control in the face of a challenge from the Mexican keeper and the ball bounced back to Messi, who immediately chipped it back over the heads of the Mexican backline for Tevez to score at will. The video playback showed that Tevez was clearly offside but despite angry protests from the Mexican team, led by captain Rafa Marquez, the goal stood. The frustration showed when two minutes later, Marquez was booked for a foul on his Barca team-mate.

The goal tipped the balance very much in Argentina’s favour and first Higuain (min.33) and then Tevez again (min.52) put the result beyond doubt before Hernandez scored a consolation goal for Mexico (min.71) to make the final score 3-1 and send Messi through to the quarterfinals. Rafa Marquez says goodbye to his third World Cup with his head held high.

Alves faces Chile

Imagen_12.jpgOn Monday evening, Messi should be joined in the next round by Barca team-mate Dani Alves when Brazil take on Chile in the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg. Brazil have won the last seven matches between the two countries with an overwhelming goal difference of 26 to 3. Alves has been used by Brazil manager Dunga in all three matches so far and will probably take up his usual role on the right of midfield.

Tuesday will be a big day for the largest Barca contingent in the World Cup when Spain take on Portugal in the Green Point stadium in Cape Town.
Marquez out, Messi to quarterfinals
Match stats
México: Pérez, Juárez, Osorio, Rodríguez, Salcido, Márquez, Torrado, Guardado (Guille Franco, 60'), Giovani Dos Santos, Chicharito and Bautista (Barrera, 45').

Argentina: Romero, Otamendi, Demichelis, Burdisso, Heinze, Mascherano, Maxi Rodríguez (Pastore, 87'), Di María (Jonas, 78'), Messi, Tévez (Veron, 68') and Higuaín.


1-0. Tévez, m 24.
2-0. Higuaín, m 32.
3-0. Tévez, m 52.
3-1. Chicharito, m 70.

Árbitro: Roberto Rosetti.

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