Is Mexico out of the World Cup?

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

DOHA, Qatar — Henry Martin and Luis Chaves both scored in Mexico’s furious bid to stay alive at the World Cup, but Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia wasn’t enough.

Argentina’s 2-0 win over Poland in a simultaneous game saw Mexico inside their group for the first time since 1978.

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

El Tri went into the game at the Lusail Stadium needing both a win and the help of Poland, who played Argentina in the other city, to advance in Group C. Argentina’s win meant goal difference came into play.

Martin scored in the 48th minute to give El Tri hope and the team’s chances increased when Luis Chavez struck a free-kick four minutes later.

Mexico tried desperately to score another goal in the final 20 minutes – including an 87th-minute attempt by Uriel Antuna that was ruled offside – but failed.

This is breaking news following previous AP stories.

Mexico suddenly need to find goals – and maybe even more of them – to extend their knockout round streak at the World Cup.

Mexico have reached the round of 16 at the last seven World Cups, shared with Brazil for the longest current streak. But in Qatar, El Tri sits at the bottom of Group C ahead of a competitive game against Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium on Wednesday.

The last time Mexico played in the biggest soccer tournament and didn’t get out of their group was in 1978.

But it’s not quite as easy as winning: El Tri also has to get help. They need Poland to beat Lionel Messi and Argentina at the exact same time in Stadion 974.

This is the easiest way for Mexico. Beyond that, it gets complicated. When Mexico do their job and win, but Argentina, one of the favorites at the tournament, also win, then goal difference comes into play.

The problem is that Mexico haven’t scored in Qatar yet.

In fact, El Tri hasn’t scored for 384 consecutive minutes at the World Cup, dating back to their second group game at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

“We believe in our chances. We’ll keep our chances,” said veteran Mexico midfielder Andres Guardado, who is playing in his fifth World Cup. “And of course we will try until the end.”

The drought was prolonged with a 2-0 loss to Argentina on Saturday. Neither team scored in Mexico’s opener against Poland.

Mexico have not been eliminated from the group stage since the tournament in Argentina 44 years ago. El Tri did not qualify for the 1982 World Cup in Spain and was banned from the 1990 event in Italy for using above-average players in an under-20 tournament.

Since then, Mexico have progressed to the round of 16 in their last seven appearances – but no further. El Tri arrived in Qatar to take part in an elusive ‘quinto partido’ – a fifth game – for the first time since Mexico hosted the tournament in 1986.

“We don’t have a chance in the next game,” said Mexican striker Henry Martin. “We have to score the goals that we can and not worry about what happens in the other game.”

With the lack of goals, criticism of Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino grew. He had already been questioned about some of his decisions, including his decision to drop top scorer of all time Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez from the team.

Hernandez, who now plays for Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy, scored the side’s last goal in the 2-1 group stage win over South Korea in Russia. The other was met by LAFC striker Carlos Vela, who had also fallen out of favor with the national team.

Martino could be looking for a new job if Mexico falter after beating Saudi Arabia, a side that caused one of the biggest upsets of the tournament in their opening game against Argentina, 2-1.

“Not getting through would leave a lot of frustration,” Martino said on Tuesday. “We need the goals to win, that’s what it takes to keep us here.”

Saudi Arabia failed to create another upset on Saturday as they lost 2-0 to Poland. The Saudis reached the Round of 16 in the side’s World Cup debut in 1994 but have not progressed beyond the group stage since.

“We will play until the last second of this tournament and not give up,” said Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard.

Nawaf Al-Abed picked up an ankle injury against Poland and it was unclear if he would be available against Mexico. Is Mexico out of the World Cup?

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