Cry for Argentina

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

He isn't big, but he has stood tall for Argentina, which is emerging as the team to beat among the FIFA U-20's elite eight.

Sergio Aguero led Argentina to a spot in tomorrow's soldout quarter-final at Frank Clair Stadium (7:45 p.m.) against Mexico, scoring a pair of goals in the Argentinians' 3-1 win over Poland on Thursday.

Now Aguero, who goes into tomorrow's game tied with Spain's Adrian Lopez for the tournament scoring lead with five goals, will be asked to do even more with starting forward Mauro Zarate and midfielder Damian Escudero expected to miss the game against the Mexicans with various injuries.

"We're aware (Zarate and Escudero) are two key players for us, but we're not going to drop our arms and give up," said midfielder Ever Banega.

Aguero, who stands just 5-foot-6, gave Argentina the lead 40 seconds into the second half when he lobbed the ball over his marker, gave a little fake and buried a shot by the post.

It was one of the best goals of the tournament.

Earlier in the game, the 19-year-old had worked a nice give-and-go with Maximiliano Moralez to set up Angel Di Maria to tie the game 1-1.

Aguero closed out the scoring with his second of the game.

IN ELITE COMPANY

He has become the fifth Argentinian to score at least five goals in the U-20 tournament and he has joined some pretty elite company: Javier Saviola (11 in 2001); Ramon Diaz (eight in 1979); Diego Maradona (six in 1979) and Lionel Messi (six in 2005).

The Mexicans are led by Gio dos Santos, who is running neck-and-neck in the fans' opinion with Lopez as the tournament's top player. "Gio," who plays out of Barcelona and is the heir to Ronaldinho, won the Silver Ball at the U-17 World Championship in Peru in 2005.

Dos Santos hasn't impressed everyone, however.

"He's just another player," said Banega. "He has yet to demonstrate he can play at the level Aguero and Moralez have shown."

This will mark the second time Argentina and Mexico will meet in the U-20 tourney. Mexico won 4-1 in the 1999 edition in a round-of-16 game.

"We know what Mexico is all about," said Moralez. "Their speed is their strength and we know that game."

The Mexicans are a second-half team in this tournament, having scored eight of their 10 goals after the break.

The winner of tomorrow's game here will go on to play the winner of the game in Montreal between Chile and Nigeria tomorrow afternoon (2:15 p.m.).


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