Argentina v Mexico: Enzo flourishes in Messi’s shadow Pipa News

Argentina v Mexico: Enzo flourishes in Messi’s shadow

Enzo Fernandes is coached by Hernan Crespo at Defensa y Justicia, was handed Eusebio’s iconic number 13 jersey at Benfica and scored last night’s second goal for Argentina in a 2-0 win over Mexico at the Lusail Stadium – all 21 year old during.

If Lionel Messi’s goal released a pressure cooker of tension that slowly reached tipping point in the 80,000-seat stadium, Fernandes’ strike calmed the Argentines. A goal up, the Mexicans were dangerous, but more so in the position they were in. A defeat would mean Argentina would join hosts Qatar in an early, early exit from the tournament. A draw would leave them at the mercy of others. Victory must be decided – the magician at hand had already done his job.

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And then came a corner in the 86th minute – a short pass by Rodrigo de Paul to Messi. Which then went to Fernandes. Fernandes’ first touch directly brought him into a conflict zone with Mexico’s two box border police. His next move elicited a gasp of surprise and then a roar of delight from commentator Peter Drury. “Oh, sweet feint… wonderful goal!”

How quickly did it happen? Fernandes collided with Eric Gutierrez – who was standing directly in front of the Argentine midfielder – and the goal. Gutiérrez then shifted to his right and could call a pitch to a footballer in shoulder drops away from goal. After the defender inadvertently moved out of the way, Fernandes fired a shot to Guillermo Ochoa’s right. Before Gutierrez or Ochoa could even realize that their hopes of a comeback were over, the Benfica midfielder was already kissing his badge and being heckled by Messi in front of screaming Argentines. That’s over.

Fernandes’ influence on the game, however, began much earlier. A toothless Argentine midfield, led by De Paul, was unable to string together periods of sustained pressure on the Mexicans – pressure that could only be borne through a passing clinic that began when Fernandes was substituted in the second half. it was done.

It was only his fifth appearance for Argentina but his impact was immediately felt. Argentina took the lead in the midfield department for the first time in this tournament. They had a player who could move the ball across the pitch, with which he understood the dangers of being wasteful and put constant pressure on the Mexicans with his delivery of the ball. Why would they send this player to the bench?

Not knowing about Fernandes’ talent has been one aspect that has followed him throughout his youth career. After 13 years in the River Plate youth system, he broke into the senior team, but was quickly sent out on loan to Defensa y Justicia. It was there that the legendary Crespo gave him match after match – and that belief culminated in the team winning the Copa Sudamericana in the 2020 season.

Fernandez told Ole, “When Marcelo (Gallardo, River Plate coach) told me about Defensa, I took it well because it was a chance to show myself, get some games, to have first-class players. compete against.” “I was lucky to be coached by two great coaches like Crespo and Sebastien Bekases, share a team with big players and even better ones and win two titles that will go down in history.

River Plate immediately recalled Fernandez. At the start of the 2022 season, Fernandes was in form, scoring eight goals and six assists in 19 appearances – a feat that caught the eye of European scouts. A few months later, Benfica managed to win the race to sign the midfielder, earning him the prized jersey of Portuguese attacker Eusébio. And since joining the team, they have played 13 league games, winning twelve of them and are yet to lose.

He ranks in the 99th percentile for passes attempted and makes nearly 10 progressive passes per game – all while averaging 2.5 tackles a game. The stats prove what the eye sees – Fernandez can be a combative midfielder with excellent passing skills, especially in the third leg.

In this World Cup, it was important for the South Americans to find the right midfield combination. While Lionel Scaloni is still some way away from that prospect, his team’s second-half midfield performances, especially a Gundogan-esque performance from Fernandez in the middle of the Lusail Stadium, are starting to put a few more pieces of the Argentine puzzle together. Right Place.

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