JOHANNESBURG: Mexico say they will look to learn lessons from the past when they play Argentina in their second round match at the World Cup in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Mexico lost to Diego Maradona`s two-times champions at the same stage of the last World Cup in Germany to an extra-time goal from Maxi Rodriguez and now have to try to work out a way of derailing this year`s Argentine vintage, which swept through Group B.
Javier Aguirre`s team qualified from Group A in second place after losing to a classy-looking Uruguay and now have to nail their colours to the mast against a side which many see as title material.
If 2006 may serve as a lesson - the Mexicans took an early lead before losing the initiative - the man who scored their goal in that game, veteran defender Rafa Marquez, can draw on a more positive memory of meeting sky-blue and white opposition.
Barcelona`s Marquez and midfielder Gerardo Torrado, another 2006 survivor, were on the team which beat Argentina in the last 16 of the under-20 world championships in 1999, that tournament also held in Africa.
On that occasion in Nigeria the Mexicans cruised home 4-1 - but the Argentinians will not be bearing any psychological scars today as none of Maradona`s squad featured in that loss.
Marquez warns that Maradona`s side will pose a huge challenge - but nonetheless one that the Mexicans can meet.
"Argentina are a good team but we also can play a bit and have bags of talent. We have to plug into that," said Marquez on Thursday as he looked forward to the encounter.
Gerardo Torrado says the senior side have to ensure that 2006 does not give them any kind of inferiority complex, noting that the under-20 side had seen off an Argentina eleven who had won the two previous titles in their age group.
"Sure, we can beat them. But we have to go out there believing we can." said the Cruz Azul star.
"We know Argentina will be a very tough rival but if we can really go out there concentrated on the job then it will be a very even contest," Torrado insisted.
Defender Efrain Juarez said, meanwhile, he had learned his own lesson after having to sit out the Uruguay group finale following a pair of bookings.
He now comes back into contention but told reporters that "I don`t know if I will be back in the line up. That`s down to the coach, but of course I`d be delighted to be back in.
"The important thing is that we are all up for it and that everyone plays well," said the Pumas` favourite.
"Of course the suspension was unfortunate but this is an experience to take on board for the future," said the 22-year-old.
"I`m living a dream to be at the World Cup at all," says Juarez, who has his own revenge mission as he was in the Mexico side beaten by Argentina in another under-20 match three years ago in Canada.
"Argentina beat us then and I want to lay that Argentine bogey to rest," he stressed.
"We know the importance of this match."
BDST: 1818hrs, June 24, 2010