Mexico Player Ratings vs Argentina: Toothless Tri Collapses Under Siege

Mexico put on a spirited performance at the Lusail Iconic Stadium against a mighty Argentina but still found themselves on the wrong side of a 2-0 scoreline. Gerardo Martino’s defensively-minded approach came back to haunt El Tri in the second half as their hopes of reaching the World Cup knockout rounds now hang in the balance.

Mexico’s eighth successive appearance at the World Cup finals was off to a sluggish start. Martino’s team had veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa to thank for going unbeaten in a keenly-contested Group C curtain-raiser against Poland.

Ochoa denied Robert Lewandowski’s second-half penalty to preserve a goalless draw for the Mexicans and keep their hopes of reaching the tournament’s knockouts for the ninth time running.

However, an ominously-looking ten-game winless H2H run against Argentina (D3, L7) was a significant psychological barrier El Tri had to deal with in Lusail. And they collapsed under pressure as Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez inspired La Albiceleste to a much-needed victory, leaving Mexico with all to play for against Saudi Arabia on the final group stage matchday.

Mexico (5-3-2)

Guillermo Ochoa – 5.5

Perhaps he could’ve done more to thwart Messi from long range, but he was powerless against Enzo Fernandez’s cracker. Not one of his best nights with the national team.

Edson Alvarez – 6

The in-demand Ajax man did much of the heavy lifting in stopping Lautaro Martinez despite being played out of position. His positioning and physical presence helped Mexico get to halftime without conceding.

Nestor Araujo – 5.5

Like his abovementioned colleague, Araujo was rock-solid throughout the night, but there was no saving from Messi in Lusail.

Cesar Montes – 5.5

While he may not be the most technically-gifted defender, Montes is no stranger to getting his hands dirty, as witnessed by his ‘pit-bull-like’ performance tonight.

Hector Moreno – 6

Moreno offered everything you’d expect from the vice-captain as his energy, leadership skills and relentless tackles kept the under-pressure Mexico team making it through a rough first half.

Jesus Gallardo – 6

Taking on the likes of Angel Di Maria must have been one of the most challenging tasks in Gallardo’s career. Yet he did enough to make the Juventus man honest for most of the game, though it came at the expense of his invisible presence in the attacking third.

Luis Chavez – 5

Not the type of showing you’d expect from a deep-lying midfielder entrusted to dictate the pace of the game. His defensive contribution somewhat made it up to for his inability to retain possession against more technically-gifted Argentines.

Hector Herrera – 6

Given his age, it’s no wonder the former Atletico Madrid guy was often run down by opposition midfielders, yet he at least provided some stability to his team in the build-up play.

Andres Guadrado – 5.5

Before picking up an injury late in the first half, the Mexico captain provided an additional layer of cover for his defense with another high-octane performance from deep inside the midfield.

Hirving Lozano – 3.5

It was like one of Napoli’s best-performing players this season never came to the pitch of the Lusail Iconic Stadium. It took Martino 73 minutes to withdraw his star winger, but there’s a feeling it could’ve taken place much earlier.

Alexis Vega – 7

Of all Mexico forwards, the headline Guadalajara performer was the only one to put Emiliano Martinez to a real test. But apart from his failed free-kick attempt in the first half, he was one of rare El Tri attackers to try something out in the front third.

Read our Player Ratings for Argentina


Erick Gutierrez – 6

Subbed on for Guadrado late in the first half, he fought tooth and nail to give his defense time to take a breathe under siege.

Uriel Antuna – N/A

Raul Jimenez – N/A

Roberto Alvarado – N/A