With their World Cup hopes already on the line, Argentina seek to overcome their opening game calamity on Saturday, as they tackle Group C rivals Mexico.
While the Albiceleste kicked off their quest for a third global crown by losing to rank outsiders Saudi Arabia, their Central American counterparts survived a scare to draw with Poland on Tuesday.
Since losing to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America, Argentina had embarked on a national record 36-game unbeaten run, and as reigning South American champions, arrived among most pundits' favourites for the final four at least.
Yet, all that momentum counted for little on the first day of their World Cup campaign, as Lionel Scaloni's side let an early advantage slip from their grasp during the space of six second-half minutes at Lusail Stadium.
Leading through Lionel Messi's opener from the penalty spot, the Albiceleste seemed in control of affairs at half time, having seen three other 'goals' ruled out for offside. Two Saudi Arabian strikes shortly after the interval turned the game on its head, however, and Group C's underdogs held out to record a result that will echo through the ages.
With the last of their global triumphs coming back in the summer of 1986, Argentina were already under pressure to deliver a first World Cup trophy for approaching 40 years - particularly in what is set to be Messi's swansong on the game's grandest stage.
Therefore, Scaloni must quickly rally his troops before they tackle the nation that hosted their last success at this level: a Mexico side who sit one point above Argentina in the standings.
Having beaten El Tri in the World Cup's first-ever edition in 1930, the Argentinians have more recently eliminated their Latin rivals twice in the last 16, and they also remain undefeated in the countries' last 10 meetings dating back to 2004.
All of which plays in their favour if precedent is any guide, but the world will now be watching with anticipation as they respond to their seismic shock against the Saudis.
While Argentina's talisman Lionel Messi trained away from the rest of his teammates on Thursday, the 35-year-old playmaker is expected to play from the start this weekend, thus sparing Lionel Scaloni a serious selection headache.
The Albiceleste captain's left leg is his main source of concern, but it seems unlikely that Papu Gomez will be asked to deputise on Saturday. Therefore, Messi should headline an attacking trident also featuring Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria.
Having started on the bench in the loss to Saudi Arabia following a fitness issue, Lisandro Martinez could come in for either Cristian Romero or Nicolas Otamendi as part of Scaloni's back four. Gonzalo Montiel and Alexis Mac Allister are also in contention.
Meanwhile, forwards Angel Correa and Paulo Dybala - the latter only just back from injury - are among several squad members hoping to play their first minutes of the finals.
Players to Watch
Argentina: Lautaro Martinez
Inter forward Martinez was twice denied a maiden World Cup goal in the defeat to Saudi Arabia by the offside flag, having been unable to break through the opposition's high line. No Argentina player was flagged offside more than Martinez in that match (three, also Angel di Maria).
Martinez will need to be more involved in play, having touched the ball just 25 times in that defeat, lower than any of his teammates apart from Julian Alvarez (12), who was introduced after 58 minutes.
Mexico: Alexis Vega
No player had more shots in Mexico's goalless draw against Poland than Vega (five), four of which came within the opposition box. However, he failed to hit the target with any of his attempts on goal.
With six touches in the opposing box in that match, Vega showed he will get into dangerous positions and provide an attacking threat for Mexico, though he will need to be more decisive in the final third.
Argentina's loss to Saudi Arabia ended a run of 13 straight victories against non-European sides, stretching back to 1990, and the South Americans have never lost consecutive World Cup matches to teams outside of Europe.
Opta's supercomputer expects that run to continue, with Argentina given a 60.7% likelihood of a win, compared to a 17.4% chance of Mexico securing what would be a memorable victory.
A draw may not be enough for either side in the hunt to advance to the knockout stages but is seen as 21.9% likely.