Goals by Manchester City`s Tevez and Real Madrid`s Gonzalo Higuain, his fourth here to become the tournament`s top-scorer, means Diego Maradona`s Argentina will now meet the Germans in Cape Town on Saturday in the last eight.
|JOHANNESBURG: Carlos Tevez of Argentina celebrates scoring their third goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen match between Argentina and Mexico at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.|
"It`s important to have reached the quarters. As for my goals? Well, I just want to be effective," said Tevez self-effacingly.
"Now we have to relax a little ahead of going up against the Germans in the quarter-finals, four years after losing to them" also in the last eight, when the Germans won on penalties.
Mexico forward Javier Hernandez gave his side brief hope when he turned his marker in the 71st minute and smashed his shot past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero, although it was too little, too late.
Argentina were not to be denied, but Tevez`s first-half strike was awarded in controversial circumstances as replays showed he was off-side when world footballer of the year Lionel Messi gave him the final pass.
The Manchester City star`s shot was saved by Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Perez, but Messi followed up and chipped Perez for Tevez to head home.
The Mexican defence complained bitterly that Tevez was offside, but Italian referee Roberto Rosetti allowed the 26th-minute goal to stand despite the furore caused by a replay of the incident on the stadium`s giant TV screens.
Mexico captain Rafael Marquez picked up a yellow card almost from the restart for fouling Messi.
Things went from bad to worse for the Mexicans on 33 minutes when defender Ricardo Osorio`s pass went straight to Higuain, who slotted past Perez to make it 2-0 at the break.
Rosetti had to step in to break up a pitch-side melee between the two sides as they walked off for half-time with tempers boiling over in the wake of the first goal.
Tevez settled the matter with a breath-taking strike on 52 minutes which he rifled into the net`s top right-hand corner from just outside the penalty area, giving Perez no chance.
The Manchester City star came off in the 69th minute to make way for Juan Veron just as Argentina`s Martin Demichelis cleared off the line before Hernandez scored Mexico`s consolation.
This was the fifth straight finals where Mexico have exited the competition at the round of 16 phase and the last time they reached the quarter-finals was when the hosted the event in 1986.
Argentina remain on course for their third World Cup title after 1978 and 1986.