The rivalry between the Mexican and Argentine national football teams runs deep. Whenever El Tri and La Albiceleste meet on the biggest stage in world football, the FIFA World Cup, an intense and entertaining matchup is guaranteed.
With a competitive head-to-head record, several iconic goals, and a bit of controversy mixed in, Mexico vs Argentina matches at the World Cup have produced some of the tournament’s most dramatic moments over the past several decades.
As the two squads prepare to face off once again in Qatar 2022, let’s take a look back at the thrilling history between Mexico and Argentina at the greatest show in sports.
Outline of Notable Mexico vs Argentina World Cup Matchups
1930 FIFA World Cup
- First ever meeting at inaugural World Cup in Uruguay
- Argentina wins 6-3 in extraordinary goal-fest
2006 FIFA World Cup
- Maxi Rodriguez scores sensational extra time winner for Argentina
- Controversial officiating decisions affect outcome
2010 FIFA World Cup
- Argentina dominates play but Mexico holds on for famous point
- Tevez disallowed goal proves pivotal
2014 FIFA World Cup
- Guillermo Ochoa puts on inspirational goalkeeping display
- Mexico earns hard-fought 0-0 draw vs Messi and co.
2022 FIFA World Cup
- Rematch in Qatar group stage with high stakes
- Mexico seeking first World Cup win vs Argentina since 1930
1930 FIFA World Cup: Argentina Wins Extraordinary 6-3 Goal-Fest in First Tournament Meeting
The first ever World Cup match between Mexico and Argentina took place at the inaugural 1930 tournament held in Uruguay. This game featured an astonishing nine goals as Argentina prevailed 6-3.
In just the second World Cup match ever played, two attacking-minded sides took the pitch at Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo on July 19, 1930. A wide open, end-to-end affair saw Argentina race out to a 4-1 halftime lead.
| Argentina | 3 | 3 | 6 |
| Mexico | 1 | 2 | 3 |
The first half was highlighted by a hat trick from Guillermo Stábile, who would go on to lead the entire tournament in scoring. Trailing big at the break, Mexico showed spirit to score two more goals after halftime but had no answer for the Argentine attack.
This game set the stage for the goal-filled,attacking clashes that have defined the Mexico vs Argentina rivalry at the World Cup ever since. While Mexico walked away empty-handed, they announced themselves on the world football stage in their World Cup debut.
2006 FIFA World Cup: Maxi Rodriguez’s Extra Time Wonder Goal Lifts Argentina
Heading into the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, one Round of 16 match stood out from the rest – Mexico vs Argentina. A talented Argentine side featuring stars like Hernan Crespo, Carlos Tevez, Juan Roman Riquelme and Lionel Messi were favored, but Mexico posed a stern test.
In a dramatic, intense affair on June 24, 2006 in Leipzig, the two familiar foes needed extra time to determine a winner after a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes. The game is best remembered for the sensational winning goal struck by Maxi Rodriguez in the 98th minute.
With the ball on the right flank, Rodriguez wrapped his left foot around a stunning volley that flew past the Mexican keeper and into the top corner. This piece of magic won the game for Argentina and engraved Maxi into Mexican nightmare lore.
However, the 2-1 Argentina victory was not without controversy. Mexico were incensed by the officiating, feeling two legitimate goals were wrongly disallowed in extra time. Replays showed both calls could have easily gone the other way.
While the Maxi Rodriguez wonder goal captured headlines, questionable refereeing decisions had a major impact on Mexico’s heartbreaking Round of 16 exit.
2010 FIFA World Cup: Mexico Earns Famous Point in Controversial Draw vs Messi and Co.
When Mexico and Argentina lined up for another titanic World Cup clash on June 27, 2010 in Johannesburg, familiar themes emerged. A hotly contested matchup saw Argentina control possession and create chances while Mexico relied on rugged defending and timely counterattacks.
With Lionel Messi pulling the strings for Argentina, they peppered the Mexico goal with shots but struggled to break through. Guillermo Ochoa made an outstanding save to deny Gonzalo Higuain in the first half.
After a tense 0-0 deadlock in regular time, the game erupted in controversy right after the restart in extra time. Off a corner kick, Carlos Tevez appeared to head Argentina in front before Mexican defenders vehemently signaled for a foul. Incredibly, the referee upheld the goal before later changing his mind after consulting the linesman.
| Argentina | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| Mexico | 0 | 0 | 0 |
This disallowed Tevez “goal” proved the pivotal moment, allowing Mexico to emerge with an improbable point against the South American giants. Messi and his teammates dominated but failed to capitalize on numerous chances. Mexico soaked up pressure and executed their game plan to perfection.
This goalless draw marked Mexico’s first ever World Cup point won against Argentina. It gave Mexican fans a result to cherish against their arch-rivals.
2014 FIFA World Cup: Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa Stars in Inspiring Draw
By the time Mexico and Argentina renewed their rivalry in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage, the Mexicans had grown weary of Lionel Messi and co. La Albiceleste had eliminated Mexico from the last two World Cups.
With Brazil 2014 potentially the last chance for an aging Mexican “golden generation”, El Tri circled the Argentina fixture as a must-win. On June 12, 2014 at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Mexico rose to the occasion with an inspired defensive performance for the ages.
The hero was goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who made an acrobatic diving stop to deny Messi in the first half. After the break, Ochoa sprung to his right to miraculously palm away a point blank header from Higuain.
Mexico soaked up pressure admirably, holding Argentina scoreless to earn an uplifting result. Manager Miguel Herrera celebrated wildly with his players after the final whistle, aware of the achievement’s significance.
| Argentina | 0 | 0 | 0 |
| Mexico | 0 | 0 | 0 |
This stalemate marked Mexico’s first ever World Cup point earned against Argentina in regulation. By shutting down Messi and containing Argentina’s star-studded attack, Mexico gained a massive confidence boost at a vital time.
Ochoa’s heroics in goal defined Mexico’s resilient performance. He dashed Argentina’s hopes while becoming a household name in his homeland after this unforgettable display.
2022 FIFA World Cup: High Stakes Rematch Looms in Qatar
After three straight World Cups featuring Mexico vs Argentina in the knockout rounds, the familiar foes will write a new chapter in their rivalry at Qatar 2022.
Fate has pitted them together in Group C for a vital early round clash on November 26 at Lusail Stadium. With the top two teams advancing, this match could determine who wins the group.
Argentina enter as one of the tournament favorites, led by the irresistible forces of Lionel Messi and fresh 2021 Copa America champions. Meanwhile, Mexico badly wants to flip the script on their poor recent World Cup record vs Argentina.
With Messi likely competing in his final World Cup, Mexico are highly motivated to earn their first victory against Argentina on football’s biggest stage since their initial 1930 meeting.
This 2022 showdown promises to produce more unforgettable moments. When Mexico and Argentina take the field, buckle up for the latest sensational chapter in this extraordinary World Cup rivalry.
6 Key Questions About Mexico vs Argentina World Cup History
Mexico vs Argentina World Cup matchups have provided some of the tournament’s most dramatic and controversial moments. Let’s explore some key questions about this storied rivalry:
How many times have Mexico and Argentina played each other at the World Cup?
Mexico and Argentina have met in five previous World Cups (1930, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2022). Their first ever meeting came at the inaugural 1930 tournament.
What is Mexico’s all-time World Cup record against Argentina?
In 5 World Cup meetings, Mexico has a record of 0 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses against Argentina. Mexico has never defeated Argentina at the World Cup in regulation time, with 1930 being their only victory.
Who scored Argentina’s extra time winner in the 2006 Round of 16 matchup?
Maxi Rodriguez scored a sensational curling left-footed volley in extra time to give Argentina a 2-1 victory over Mexico in the 2006 Round of 16.
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Why was Carlos Tevez’s goal disallowed in the 2010 match?
Tevez headed Argentina in front early in extra time but the goal was controversially disallowed after the referee overturned his initial decision. Replays showed it could have stood.
How did Mexico manage to draw 0-0 with Argentina in 2014?
Thanks to an all-time great goalkeeping performance by Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico held Lionel Messi and Argentina scoreless in a gutsy defensive showing.
What’s at stake when Mexico and Argentina meet again in 2022?
With Qatar 2022 likely Messi’s last World Cup, Mexico are determined to earn their first win over Argentina on football’s biggest stage since 1930.
Mexico vs Argentina World Cup History Tables
Head-to-Head Matchup History
| Year | Stage | Venue | Score | Scorers |
| 1930 | Group 4 | Estadio Pocitos, Montevideo | Argentina 6-3 Mexico | Stábile (3), Varallo (2), Ferreira – Blanco, Carreño, Fernández |
| 2006 | Round of 16 | Leipzig | Argentina 2-1 Mexico (a.e.t) | Crespo, Rodriguez – Fonseca |
| 2010 | Group A | Johannesburg | Argentina 0-0 Mexico | – |
| 2014 | Group F | Fortaleza | Argentina 0-0 Mexico | – |
| 2022 | Group C | Lusail | TBD | TBD |
Mexico Managers vs Argentina
| Year | Mexico Manager | Result |
| 1930 | Juan Luque de Serrallonga | L, 3-6 |
| 2006 | Ricardo La Volpe | L, 1-2 (a.e.t) |
| 2010 | Javier Aguirre | D, 0-0 |
| 2014 | Miguel Herrera | D, 0-0 |
| 2022 | Gerardo Martino | TBD |
Top Goalscorers in World Cup Meetings
| Player | Country | Goals |
| Guillermo Stábile | Argentina | 3 |
| Gonzalo Higuain | Argentina | 0 |
| Javier Hernandez | Mexico | 0 |
| Lionel Messi | Argentina | 0 |
Conclusion: A World Cup Rivalry Like No Other
The Mexico vs Argentina World Cup rivalry stands in a class of its own. From their first extraordinary 6-3 goal frenzy in 1930 to Maxi Rodriguez’s wonder strike and Guillermo Ochoa’s heroics, this matchup has produced many of the tournament’s most iconic moments.
Heading into Qatar 2022, the stakes are high once again as Mexico look to finally conquer Messi and Argentina on the biggest stage. When these two passionate football nations and arch-rivals clash, nerves fray, emotions overflow, and the world watches in wonder.