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FIFA World Cup: Mexico leave on goal difference despite beating Saudi Arabia | Football news

LUSAIL: Mexico scored twice in five minutes of the second half in a thrilling last-ditch effort to stay in the World Cup on Wednesday by beating Saudi Arabia 2-1, but painfully missing out on the last 16 on goal difference.
Goals from Henry Martin and Luis Chavez shortly after the break catapulted Mexico back into the fray, but a series of excellent saves from Saudi keeper Mohamed Al-Owais and two disallowed tries deprived the South Americans of the elusive goal they needed to recover. to shove.

The game went straight to the wire and at one point it looked like Mexico would miss out to Group C rivals Poland as they accumulated more yellow cards, but Saudi striker Salem Al-Dawsari scored in stoppage time to make the goal difference the decider to make.

Mexico’s departure ended a run of seven consecutive last 16 appearances at the World Cup and defeat for Saudi Arabia ended what appeared to be a realistic chance of progressing out of the group stage for the first time in 28 years .
With Mexico having failed to score in their first two games in Group C, Mexico’s chances of progression seemed slim as they started the game depending on the outcome of the match between Argentina and Poland, which Argentina won 2-0 to win the group. feed.
Urgently needing to increase their goal difference, Mexico took the game to Saudi Arabia from the start and never stopped running, peppering the goal with long range efforts in a desperate attempt to wrest control of their own destiny.
Orbelin Pineda and Chavez were the engines in a high-octane match that the Saudis struggled to get into, defending with desperation.
Mexico broke the deadlock two minutes into the break, when Cesar Montes’ nimble heel from a corner kick found Martin who bundled the ball over the line into a crowded mouth.
They doubled their lead on 52 minutes when Chavez’s powerful free-kick sailed 20 yards out into the corner of goal, out of reach of Al-Owais, sparking wild Mexican celebrations on the pitch.
Lozano found the net but his goal was disallowed and Mexico fought hard to get the decisive third, only to be constantly denied by Al-Owais’ reflexes in the Saudi goal.
Substitute Uriel Antuna had a stunning late try disallowed for offside four minutes from the end before Al-Dawsari shattered Mexico’s hopes when he grabbed a Saudi consolation goal deep in stoppage time.

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