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We can ‘start over again’ in next game: Messi

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Lusail: Lionel Messi said Argentina are ready to “start over again” against Poland after resuscitating their FIFA World Cup campaign with a win over Mexico.

Messi inspired Argentina to a crucial victory over Mexico here in Lusail Stadium on Saturday to position the South Americans’ World Cup quest firmly back on track.

The two-time world champions, who lost their opening match against Saudi Arabia 2-1, will be guaranteed of a place in the last 16 if they beat Poland on Wednesday.

“We didn’t expect to lose the first match and the days leading up to this one were long,” Messi said. “We wanted to have the opportunity to change the situation.

“We knew that if we didn’t win today we would be out and that if we won (our destiny) would depend on us. Luckily we were able to win and that makes us very happy. It’s a weight off our shoulders and we can start over again against Poland.”

Messi set the two-time world champions on course for victory against El Tri with a low 25-yard strike and he then provided the final pass for Enzo Fernandez to curl in a second goal.

“The first half was difficult because of the way they defended,” the Argentina captain said. “We weren’t able to find space and didn’t move the ball the way we wanted to.

“In the second half we managed to have more possession and found space between the lines. We started to get the ball closer to the penalty area and to play our normal game.”

Messi drew level with Diego Maradona on eight World Cup goals and moved two behind national team record holder Gabriel Batistuta’s haul of 10.

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