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Rodriguez fires Argentina into last eight

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June 25, 2006 03:42 IST

A brilliant goal by Maxi Rodriguez gave Argentina a 2-1 extra-time win over Mexico in the World Cup second round on Saturday.

Rodriguez struck eight minutes into extra-time, controlling a cross-field pass with his chest and then hammering a superb, diagonal left-foot volley past Mexican goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez from 20 metres.

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Argentina will play hosts Germany in the quarter-finals in Berlin on Friday.

The Latin American rivals had been level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, following two early goals.

Mexico took the game to Argentina from the kickoff and shocked the favourites by taking the lead with their first chance in the sixth minute.

Pavel Pardo's free kick on the right was flicked on with his head by defender Mario Mendez and captain Rafael Marquez came in unmarked on the left behind the defence to shoot into the roof of the net past keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri.

Argentina were level within four minutes when Hernan Crespo was credited with netting Juan Roman Riquelme's corner although television replays clearly showed Mexico striker Jared Borgetti heading the ball into his own net trying to clear.

The Mexicans, quick on the counter-attack, troubled the centre of the Argentine defence time and again. Gabriel Heinze, having a poor game, was lucky not to be sent off for bringing down Jose Fonseca just before halftime.

Crespo could have had two goals midway through the first half, both times after being put through by superb passes into space from Esteban Cambiasso.

For the first, Marquez was quick to cut across the back of defence and block Crespo's shot, while the Argentina striker steered the ball wide of the far post on the second.

Mexico had the first chance of the second half too but Abbondanzieri saved one-handed from Borgetti at point-blank range.

At the other end, Sanchez pushed Javier Saviola's shot away for a corner after the striker had been sent through on the left by a superb pass from Riquelme.

Argentina sent on striker Carlos Tevez for Crespo and midfielder Pablo Aimar for Cambiasso for the final quarter of an hour. He then sent on Lionel Messi for Saviola.

Messi had the ball in the net just before the end of normal time, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

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