Lionel Messi helped save his country from World Cup embarrassment when France became the first team to reach the knockout stage.
Messi scored the opener in Argentina’s 2-0 win over Mexico, and substitute Enzo Fernández grumpily resolved a clash against Mexico at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
After losing to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, Argentina knew a second defeat would have thrown them out of the tournament.
Poland had previously beaten Saudi Arabia 2-0, adding to the pressure.
But the 35-year-old Messi, playing in his fifth and probably last World Cup, knocked his team off the mark with a long-range shot 19 minutes into the second half.
Fernández put the result beyond any doubt with a low shot three minutes from the end of regulation time.
However, to be sure of going through, Argentina still needs a win in their final group game against Poland on Wednesday.
Messi’s Paris St Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe scored both goals for France in a 2-1 win over Denmark.
Both of Mbappé’s shots were point-blank shots and the winning goal came with four minutes remaining.
Denmark, who beat France twice in the Nations League this year, fell behind after 61 minutes but equalized through Andreas Christensen.
Mbappé’s brace means he is now ranked alongside Brazilian superstar Pelé as the only players to score seven or more World Cup goals before their 25th birthday.
France, the defending champions, have extended their World Cup winning streak to six games.