Tevez fires Argentina into quarters

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JOHANNESBURG, June 28- Argentina will meet Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals after striker Carlos Tevez struck twice – once controversially – to seal a 3-1 win over Mexico on Sunday.Goals by Manchester City’s Tevez and Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain, his fourth to become the tournament’s top-scorer, means Diego Maradona’s Argentina will now meet the Germans in Cape Town on Saturday in the last eight.

Argentina coach Diego Maradona was pleased with the win, but admitted Germany would be a step up from the hard-working Mexicans.

"I feel like pulling on the jersey and playing myself," said the former midfielder.

"We know Germany are a different team to the side we faced in Mexico. They are stronger, but we will field the right players to beat them."

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre said two mistakes cost his side the game.

"In the first few minutes we were superior. But then we conceded a goal which was offside and then there was an error in the defence. Two mistakes made a dramatic difference," said Aguirre.

Mexico forward Javier Hernandez gave his side brief hope when he turned his marker in the 71st minute and smashed his shot past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero, although it was too little, too late.

Argentina were not to be denied, but Tevez’s first-half strike was awarded in controversial circumstances as replays showed he was offside when world footballer of the year Lionel Messi gave him the final pass.

The Manchester City star’s shot was saved by Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Perez, but Messi followed up and chipped Perez for Tevez to head home.

The Mexican defence complained bitterly, but Italian referee Roberto Rosetti allowed the 26th-minute goal to stand despite the furore caused by a replay of the incident on the stadium’s giant TV screens.

Mexico captain Rafael Marquez picked up a yellow card almost from the restart for fouling Messi.

Things went from bad to worse for the Mexicans on 33 minutes when defender Ricardo Osorio’s pass went straight to Higuain, who slotted past Perez to make it 2-0 at the break.

Rosetti had to step in to break up a pitch-side melee between the two sides as they walked off for half-time with tempers boiling over in the wake of the first goal.

Tevez settled the matter with a breath-taking strike on 52 minutes which he rifled into the net’s top right-hand corner from just outside the penalty area, giving Perez no chance.

Tevez came off in the 69th minute to make way for Juan Sebastian Veron just as Argentina’s Martin Demichelis cleared off the line before Hernandez scored Mexico’s consolation.

This was the fifth straight finals where Mexico have exited the competition at the round of 16 phase and the last time they reached the quarter-finals was when the hosted the event in 1986.

Argentina remain on course for their third World Cup title after 1978 and 1986.

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