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Page last updated at 22:54 GMT, Sunday, 27 June 2010 23:54 UK

World Cup 2010: Maradona talks up Argentina hopes

The referee waves the Mexico and Argentina players away

Carlos Tevez scores Argentina's controversial opening goal

Argentina manager Diego Maradona is confident his team will beat Germany in Cape Town on Saturday to progress to the World Cup semi-finals.

Two goals from Carlos Tevez and one from Gonzalo Higuain secured a 3-1 win over Mexico in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Joachim Loew's team thrashed England 4-1 and Maradona conceded: "We know Germany are a different team to Mexico, they are stronger.

"But we will field the right players to beat them."

Argentina took the lead in the 25th minute with a controversial goal from Tevez , who was clearly offside when the ball was played through by Lionel Messi.

The assistant referee did not raise his flag as the Manchester City striker turned the ball into the net, much to the disbelief of Mexico's players, who surrounded the referee in protest after watching a replay of the goal at Soccer City.

Yet Maradona dismissed Mexico manager Javier Aguirre's criticism of the match officials, instead claiming that striker Messi has not been protected during the tournament.

"Aguirre must have felt the same as we have felt when Messi gets kicked around and the referee does not act," stated Maradona.

"I have lived that myself, when I was a player when you had three players on you 20 years ago.

"Whenever Messi has the ball everyone is trying to kick his legs. What is being done to him is a scandal - they don't even look for the ball, they try to kick him.

FOOTBALL BLOG
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher

"I understand the Mexicans' feelings but there is a limit to everything."

Argentina's victory set up an intriguing quarter-final rematch against Germany, who knocked them out of the tournament four years ago in Berlin.

Germany's impressive counter-attacking abilities ripped England's defence to shreds in Bloemfontein and Maradona said he was fully aware of the threat posed by Loew's team.

"They played an open game against England and we must take stock of our situation on Monday and see how we have come out of this match, how the players are feeling and try to put together the right team to showcase our talents," he added.



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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Argentina v Mexico
26 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup day 17 photos
27 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Maradona hails Messi inspiration
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Maradona cools Argentine euphoria
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Maradona blasts Pele and Platini
16 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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