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Argentina’s World Cup defeat casts doubt on their fitness

Argentina lose 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in one of the World Cup's biggest shocks in its 92-year history.

It was a game to forget for the Argentines.

The pressure is now on Lionel Messi and Argentina, who cannot afford to lose their next match against Mexico on Saturday if their World Cup hopes are to be revived.

“It´s time to be united, turn the page and no longer think about what happened,” Messi said after the humiliating defeat against Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament.

“Take reflections, take the positives to improve what we did wrong and think about Mexico. We always said we were going to look to win every game and now more than ever.”

Messi spoke of “anxiety” that crept into his team.

“The goal so early in the second half hurt us, it made us confused,” Messi said. “We knew it could happen in the first game, if we didn´t play in the best way we were doing, and I think that happened to us. We didn´t find the performance or the game that we´ve been demonstrating for a long time.”

Goalkeeper Emi Martinez said that Argentina will go into the Mexico game as if they were playing for the title.

“Saturday is our first World Cup final,” he said, adding the early defeat may help galvanize the team.

“If we want to be world champions, it’s good to have a stumble,” he said. “A stumble is not a fall.”

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