Tunisia was also eliminated on that occasion, getting only one win and one draw. At that time, Poland and Germany went to the next phase with 5 and 4 points respectively.
That was the last worst performance for Mexico so far, 44 years later, when in a very close match against Saudi Arabia they could not achieve the feat in Qatar 2022.
Mexico needed to thrash Saudi Arabia to advance to the round of 16 as second place in the group. Argentina complied by liquidating a victory over Polinia.
A goal from Henry Martin at minute 47 and a shot from Chávez at minute 52 – a candidate for one of the best goals in the world – gave the Mexicans hope of qualifying.
But a Salem Al-Dawsari goal in stoppage time sent Mexico out, leaving the way open for Argentina and Poland.
Eliminations of Mexico in the group stage
In addition to the elimination in Argentina 1978, Mexico has also left the competition in the group stage in the following World Cups:
Eliminated, along with France, leaving first and second place to England and Uruguay, respectively.
Eliminated, along with Spain, letting Brazil pass in first place and Czechoslovakia in second place.
Mexico was eliminated, along with Hungary, in a group that was led by Sweden and Wales, respectively.
Brazil and Yugoslavia were tied on points on that occasion. Mexico finished last in the group, behind France, with zero points, two goals for and 8 against.
Mexico was left with zero points in the group it shared with Brazil, Yugoslavia and Switzerland.
In the first World Cup in history, Mexico was behind France, giving Argentina and Chile the chance to continue advancing.
Will ‘El Tata’ leave and then?
“Tata” will also carry on his back the commotion caused by fans and the media for not having summoned Javier “Chicharito” Hernández due to indiscipline, despite the fact that the top scorer of the Mexican team was going through a good moment with his club Los Angeles Galaxy, and that perhaps it could have been a solution to the lack of goal.
Now, Mexico will have to lick its wounds without Martino in charge of the project, since it is most likely that he will be disassociated. And the local federation must look for the strategist who leads the way towards the 2026 World Cup where Mexico will be local along with the United States and Canada.