Henry Martin and Luis Chaves each scored in Mexico’s furious bid to stay alive at the World Cup, but Wednesday night’s 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia wasn’t enough.
Argentina’s 2–0 victory over Poland in a simultaneous match saw Mexico fail to break out of the group for the first time since 1978.
Mexico had reached the round of 16 at the last seven World Cups, tied with Brazil for longest current streak.
Going into the game at Lusail Stadium, El Tri needed both a win and help from Poland playing through the city against Argentina to progress to Group C. Argentina’s win meant goal difference came into play.
Martin scored in the 48th minute to give hope to El Tri, and the team’s chances got even better with Luis Chavez’s goal on a free kick four minutes later.
Mexico desperately tried to score another goal in the last 20 minutes – including an 87th-minute attempt from Uriel Antuna that was ruled offside – but fell short.