Ghana's No. 1

Mexico out despite victory over Saudi Arabia

Published on: 30 November 2022

Mexico defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 but agonisingly went out of the World Cup on goal difference on a night of incredible drama in Doha.

With Argentina beating Poland 2-0 in Group C at Stadium 974 and Mexico leading by the same scoreline at Lusail Stadium in the 94th minute, Gerardo Martino's side needed one more goal to prevent them from going out according to Fifa's fair play rule.

But Salem Al Dawsari's injury-time consolation goal for Saudi Arabia sent the distraught Mexicans home anyway, leaving the Polish players to celebrate across the city.

After a stop-start first half with little rhythm to it, the match burst into life two minutes after the break as Henry Martin reacted quickest to finish Cesar Montes' flick on.

Mexico fans had barely calmed their celebrations before Luis Chavez curled a glorious 30-yard free-kick into the top corner to send their supporters into pandemonium.

They thought they had another but Hirving Lozano's low strike was chalked off for offside and Martin should have had a second but volleyed over from 12 yards out.

It was all Mexico as they pushed for further goals. Chavez nearly struck another stunning free-kick but Mohammed Al Owais palmed it out, then Orbelín Pineda curled narrowly wide.

Mexico thought they had sealed progression when Uriel Antuna stroked in late on, but that too was flagged for offside and they went out in the most excruciating manner.

Agony for Mexico

The first half was one to forget, the drama in the second will live long in the memory.

It was absolute chaos before the game, with thousands of Saudi fans making the trip across the border for a game in which victory would have secured a place in the knockout stage.

But they never really managed to put Mexico under pressure and ultimately both sides went out of the competition.

At one stage, Mexico were set to be knocked out because they had collected more yellow cards (seven) than Poland (five), with the two teams level on points and goal difference.

While Al Dawsari's late goal changed little, Mexico fans were still left dejected at full-time, with some staying long after the final whistle with their head in their hands.

Martin's opener from close range and Chavez's peach of a free-kick gave them hope, but two disallowed goals crushed any optimism of advancing out of the group.

The result ends a sequence of progression to the round of 16, having done so at the previous eight World Cups, a run stretching back to 1978.

For Saudi Arabia, the tournament ends in disappointment by finishing bottom of the group despite an opening game victory over Argentina that will go down as one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

Mohamed Kanno had his chances, shanking wide from the angle and curling a free-kick narrowly over, while Ali Al Hassan almost headed in on the stroke of half-time.

The stadium was filled mostly with raucous Saudi supporters and they went home with one final cheer as Al Dawsari coolly converted late on.

    Relive Group C's incredible dramaFifa World Cup: Groups and scheduleWorld Cup TV coverage guide

Player of the match

ChávezLuis Chávez

with an average of 7.79

    Saudi ArabiaSaudi ArabiaSaudi ArabiaMexicoMexicoMexico

Saudi ArabiaAvgSquad number10Player nameSalem Al DawsariAverage rating

7.48

Squad number26Player nameRiyadh SharahiliAverage rating

6.98

Squad number3Player nameAbdullah MaduAverage rating

6.92

Squad number17Player nameHassan TambaktiAverage rating

6.88

Squad number23Player nameMohammed KannoAverage rating

6.85

Squad number19Player nameHattan BahbriAverage rating

6.85

Squad number11Player nameSaleh Al ShehriAverage rating

6.75

Squad number4Player nameAbdulelah Al AmriAverage rating

6.74

Squad number20Player nameAbdulrahman Al ObudAverage rating

6.71

Squad number5Player nameAli Al BulayhiAverage rating

6.61

Squad number15Player nameAli Al HassanAverage rating

6.60

Squad number12Player nameSaud AbdulhamidAverage rating

6.33

Squad number2Player nameSultan Al GhannamAverage rating

6.17

Squad number9Player nameFeras Al BrikanAverage rating

6.15

Squad number21Player nameMohammed Al OwaisAverage rating

6.00

MexicoAvgSquad number24Player nameChávezAverage rating

7.79

Squad number13Player nameOchoaAverage rating

7.63

Squad number4Player nameÁlvarezAverage rating

7.62

Squad number10Player nameVegaAverage rating

7.57

Squad number22Player nameLozanoAverage rating

7.22

Squad number19Player nameSánchezAverage rating

7.18

Squad number20Player nameMartínAverage rating

7.17

Squad number3Player nameMontesAverage rating

7.08

Squad number17Player namePinedaAverage rating

7.06

Squad number21Player nameAntunaAverage rating

6.97

Squad number26Player nameÁlvarezAverage rating

6.95

Squad number8Player nameRodríguezAverage rating

6.64

Squad number23Player nameGallardoAverage rating

6.64

Squad number9Player nameJiménezAverage rating

6.63

Squad number15Player nameMorenoAverage rating

6.55

Squad number11Player nameFunes MoriAverage rating

6.50

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsSaudi Arabia

Formation 4-4-2

21Al Owais2Al Ghannam4Al Amri17Al Tambakti5Al Bulayhi9Al Brikan15Al Hassan12Abdulhamid10Al Dawsari11Al Shehri23Kanno

    21Al Owais2Al GhannamSubstituted forBahbriat 88'minutesBooked at 90mins4Al AmriBooked at 90mins17Al TambaktiBooked at 52mins5Al BulayhiSubstituted forSharahiliat 37'minutes9Al Brikan15Al HassanBooked at 34minsSubstituted forMaduat 45'minutesBooked at 81mins12Abdulhamid10Al Dawsari11Al ShehriBooked at 28minsSubstituted forAl Obudat 62'minutes23Kanno

Substitutes

    1Al Rubaie Al Yami3Madu14Otayf16Al Naji18Al Abid19Bahbri20Al Obud22Al Suweiti Al Aqidi24Al Shardan Al Dawsari25Asiri26Sharahili

Mexico

Formation 4-2-3-1

13Ochoa19Sánchez3Montes15Moreno23Gallardo4Álvarez24Chávez22Lozano17Pineda10Vega20Martín

    13Ochoa19SánchezSubstituted forÁlvarezat 86'minutes3Montes15Moreno23Gallardo4ÁlvarezBooked at 16minsSubstituted forFunes Moriat 86'minutes24Chávez22Lozano17PinedaSubstituted forRodríguezat 77'minutes10VegaSubstituted forAntunaat 45'minutes20MartínSubstituted forJiménezat 77'minutes

Substitutes

    1Talavera2Araújo5Vásquez6Arteaga7Romo8Rodríguez9Jiménez11Funes Mori12Cota14Gutiérrez16Herrera18Guardado21Antuna25Alvarado26Álvarez

Referee:Michael OliverAttendance:84,985Match StatsHome TeamSaudi ArabiaAway TeamMexicoPossessionHome39%Away61%ShotsHome10Away26Shots on TargetHome2Away11CornersHome1Away8FoulsHome20Away18Live Text Post update

Match ends, Saudi Arabia 1, Mexico 2.

90'+8'Full Time

Second Half ends, Saudi Arabia 1, Mexico 2.

90'+8'Post update

Foul by Raúl Jiménez (Mexico).

90'+8'Post update

Mohammed Al Owais (Saudi Arabia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+7'Booking

Hattan Bahbri (Saudi Arabia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+7'Post update

Hirving Lozano (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90'+7'Post update

Foul by Hattan Bahbri (Saudi Arabia).

90'+6'Post update

Foul by Rogelio Funes Mori (Mexico).

90'+6'Post update

Mohammed Al Owais (Saudi Arabia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+5'goalGoal!

Goal! Saudi Arabia 1, Mexico 2. Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Hattan Bahbri.

90'+4'Post update

Foul by Rogelio Funes Mori (Mexico).

90'+4'Post update

Hassan Tambakti (Saudi Arabia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90'+4'Post update

Attempt missed. Hirving Lozano (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

90'+3'Post update

Raúl Jiménez (Mexico) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90'+3'Post update

Foul by Hattan Bahbri (Saudi Arabia).

90'+2'Post update

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Mohammed Kanno.

90'+2'Post update

Corner, Mexico. Conceded by Saud Abdulhamid.

90'+2'Post update

Attempt saved. Hirving Lozano (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

90'+1'Booking

Abdulelah Al Amri (Saudi Arabia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90'+1'Post update

Rogelio Funes Mori (Mexico) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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