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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun, 24, 2006

Pekerman salutes both teams after classic

LEIPZIG, June 24 (Reuters) - Argentina coach Jose Pekerman said their familiarity with Mexico helped serve up the World Cup second-round classic they won 2-1 in extra time on Saturday.

'It was a very interesting and difficult match and it's because of that that it went to extra time,' said Pekerman.

'Argentina were valid winners. The two teams know each other very well and that's why they cancel each other out.'

Argentina, world champions in 1978 and 1986, had to fight all the way against Mexico who took an early lead through Rafael Marquez before an own goal from Jared Borgetti and a superb 98th minute volley by Maxi Rodriguez settled it for Argentina.

They now play Germany in the quarter-finals in Berlin on Friday with the teams having met in the 1986 and 1990 finals - Argentina won the first showdown and West Germany the second.

Turning to playing the hosts, Pekerman added: 'It's a match that is much anticipated because they are two big teams in football history who have been world champions on different occasions.'

Germany sealed their spot in the last eight with an impressive 2-0 win over Sweden in Munich earlier on Saturday.

Mexico's captain Rafael Marquez said it had taken a moment of magic from Rodriguez to eliminate his brave side at the second-round stage for the fourth World Cup running.

'A great goal by (Argentina) is what eliminated us,' he said. 'The (Mexico) team has worked very well all this time and played a good match today against a team that everyone thought would run over us.

'On the contrary, we were perhaps the better team, maybe we didn't deserve this but football is like that... The team that scores the goals wins.'

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