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Terrific Tevez bemused over substitution

sports Updated: Jun 28, 2010 10:53 IST
AFP
Man-of-the-match Carlos Tevez

Man-of-the-match Carlos Tevez was at a loss as to why Diego Maradona substituted him after his most commanding performance for unbeaten Argentina at the World Cup at Soccer City.

The Manchester City dynamo starred with a brace of goals as the two-time world champions blasted their way past Mexico 3-1 and into the quarter-finals last night.

Argentina will now have an enticing last-eight showdown with Germany, who blew away traditional rivals England 4-1 in Bloemfontein earlier yesterday.

The match highlight was Tevez's wonder strike from outside the penalty area in the 52nd minute that rocketed past hapless Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Perez into the roof of the net for his second strike of the evening.

But Tevez's opening goal in the 26th minute was clouded in controversy.

He was set free by a stabbed pass from Lionel Messi, and when his shot was parried by Perez, Messi lobbed the ball back towards goal for Tevez to head it over the line from close range.

The Mexicans vehemently protested that Tevez was in an offside position -- a view supported by replays -- but Italian referee Roberto Rosetti allowed the goal to stand after conferring with his assistant for several minutes.

Shortly after Tevez's scorching second goal he was taken off by coach Maradona to a huge ovation from the 84,377 crowd.

"I needed a match like this to show that I am ready and I fine, I am proud to wear this jersey," Tevez said.

"I was fighting and felt well, (but) I didn't understand why I was substituted. I wasn't getting the ball so much, but neither were some other players."

The form of Tevez, coupled with the artistry of the world's best player Messi and leading tournament scorer Gonzalo Higuain with four goals underline why Argentina have the most potent attack and are among the favourites to win the World Cup.