SOCCER

Mexico Beats Saudi Arabia 2-1 But Eliminated At World Cup

Nov 30, 2022, 2:18 PM

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Raul Jimenez of Mexico reacts after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Saudi Arabia and Mexico at Lusail Stadium on November 30, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Henry Martin and Luis Chaves each scored in Mexico’s furious attempt to stay alive at the World Cup, but the 2-1 victory Wednesday night over Saudi Arabia was not enough.

Mexico Eliminated From World Cup

Because of Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Poland in a simultaneous match, Mexico failed to advance out of its group for the first time since 1978.

Mexico had reached the round of 16 at the last seven World Cups, which was tied with Brazil for the longest current streak.

El Tri went into the match at Lusail Stadium needing both a victory and help from Poland playing across town against Argentina to advance in Group C. Argentina’s victory meant goal difference came into play.

Martin scored in the 48th minute to give El Tri hope, and the team’s chances got even better with Luis Chavez’s goal on a free kick four minutes later.

Mexico tried desperately in the final 20 minutes to get another goal — including an effort by Uriel Antuna in the 87th minute that was ruled offside — but came up short.

A Strange Ending

Very rarely are World Cup groups determined by fair play aggregates. However, that is what nearly happened in Group C. Prior to the Saudi Arabia stoppage time goal, both Mexico and Poland were tied on points, goal differential, and goals for and goal against. The next determining factor is FIFA’s fair play rule, which ranks teams based on the amount of yellow and red cards they have received.

Poland concluded group play with five yellow cards and zero red cards while Mexico culminated with seven yellow cards and zero red cards.

Argentina, who topped Group C, will now play Australia in the Round of 16 while Poland will prepare to battle the reigning World Cup champions France.

Australia and Argentina will kickoff on Saturday, December 3 at noon with France and Poland will play on Sunday, December 4 at 8 a.m.

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Mexico Beats Saudi Arabia 2-1 But Eliminated At World Cup