Saudi Arabia shocks Messi and Argentina in the World Cup


Lusail, Qatar — Saudi Arab Pulled off one of the biggest shocks of the World Cup, coming from behind to beat Argentina on Tuesday.

Argentina, one of the favorites to lift the trophy, dominated the first half and went ahead Lionel MessiFirst half penalty. But the break saw a spectacular comeback from Saudi Arabia saleh al-shahri And Salem Al-Dawsari Both scores in the space of five minutes to beat Argentina for the first time since June 2019 – a run of an incredible 36 matches.

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Swift response

1. Saudi Arabia has suffered the biggest blow so far

Argentina Not a good start to the World Cup, but it was a shocking reversal even for them. Saudi Arabranked 51st in the world (among Queue and Greece) scored twice in five chaotic minutes at the start of the second half to record one of the biggest shocks the competition has ever seen – as cameroon Defeated the defending champions in 1990, Diego Maradona.

Saudi Arabia were barely in the game in the first 45 minutes, Argentina dominated and went off the field at half-time, looking like a team clinging on for dear life. but with goals saleh al-shahri And Salem Al-Dawsari A right-footed effort – which curled into the top corner and was an early contender for goal of the tournament – produced a remarkable turnaround.

And when the inspiration was on Argentina and the captain Lionel Messi To make a comeback, he lacked composure and accuracy in front of goal.

Argentina would hold on to the fact that they still managed to reach the final of the 1990 World Cup after losing to Cameroon in their opening game. But after arriving in Qatar as South American champions and on a 36-match unbeaten run, this campaign was to be different. Like they did in Russia 2018, it looks like they are going to do the tough work of the group stage again.

2. Argentina has only itself to blame

Lionel Scaloni’s side should have been out of sight at half-time but somehow found themselves behind in the second half. He was to blame; Had they been a little more careful, they could have led 5-0 at the break.

Messi had a good chance Mohammed Al-Owais, After the penalty, he scored three goals due to offside, twice Lautaro Martinez And another from Messi.

Saudi Arab Came into the World Cup with a reputation for barely scoring goals. Despite failing to register a single shot in the first half, he managed to knock down Amy Martinez twice in five minutes in the second half.

What worries Scaloni the most Argentina It was more than 30 minutes after going behind to draw or even win the game, but he quickly resorted to a cross into the box, which was easily cleared by the Saudi defence. with the game against poland And Mexico In time to come, Argentina would still believe they could qualify for the knockout rounds but it was not the start they were hoping for.

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3. Saudi Arabia boosts fans’ confidence

Thousands of Saudi Arabian supporters have crossed the border into Qatar with the hope of equaling their performance at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, when they reached the round of 16.

Maybe before the start of the tournament, they were the ones who believed in it but not now. Most of the supporters who traveled to Lusail Stadium on Tuesday morning admitted they were not expecting much from the game versus Argentina and thought they would need to pick up points against Poland and Mexico to advance from Group C. Instead, they were dealt a huge victory for football in Asia – especially as Qatar and Iran both began their campaigns with disappointing performances against Ecuador and England respectively.

Just after half-time they started defending like a team that kept six clean sheets in qualifying. Their last World Cup started with a 5-0 victory by hosts Russia, but what a difference four years can make: a day that will go down in both Saudi Arabian football and World Cup history.

player ratings

Argentina: Martinez 6, Molina 5, Tagliafico 5, Romero 4, Otamendi 5, Parade 6, De Paul 6, Gomez 5, Di Maria 6, Messi 6, Martinez 6.

later stages: Martinez 6, Fernandez 6, Alvarez 6, Acuna 6.

Saudi Arab: al-Owais 9, al-Bulahi 8, Abdulhamid 7, al-Shahrani 7, al-Tambqati 8, al-Malki 7 al-Dawsari 8, al-Shehri 8, Kanno 7, al-Faraj 7, al-Brikan 6 .

later stages: Al-Abid 6, Al-Ghannam 6, Al-Burayq 6, Asiri 6, Al-Amri 6.

best and worst performers

Best, Mohammed Al-Owais

The Saudi goalkeeper pulled off two spectacular saves, one after 90 seconds to deny Messi and another in the second half when the ball was deflected off Nicolas Tagliafico.

Worst: Christian Romero

The defender faltered when Saudi Arabia put Argentina under pressure after half-time and was substituted after the second goal.

Highlights and Notable Moments

Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

But Saudi Arabia counterattacked and then hit this goal to take the lead.

After the match: What the players and managers said

Lionel Messi of Argentina: “It’s a very hard blow for everyone, we didn’t expect to start like this. Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for things to come, we have to win, and it depends on us ” , We are going to be united more than ever. This group is strong and we have shown it. This is a situation we have not gone through in a long time. Now we have to show that it is a real group.

“My message to the supporters is to have faith. We will not leave them stranded. We knew that Saudi Arabia are a team with good players, that they move the ball well and they move the ball.” [defensive] Too many lines. We worked on it, but we did it a little too quickly. We have to go back to the basis of who we are. We have to think about what’s next.”

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni: “They scored two goals in their only two shots on goal. We have to rise. Today is a sad day but we need to keep our heads up and continue. We are hurt but we need to turn things around and win our next games.” Is.” , We continue to believe as before. This is in the World Cup, you can be infinitely better, and things don’t go your way. Losing is never good. We came into the World Cup in the best possible way, on a good run. We knew it would end eventually. Luckily, we have two group games, and we’re going to get it done.”

Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard: “All the stars in the sky were aligned for us, but don’t forget that Argentina are still a fantastic team. This is football, sometimes completely strange things can happen…

“Sometimes the opposition doesn’t have the best motivation, it’s normal, it happens to us too when we play lower teams. Some people don’t understand but you can imagine when you play against Saudi Arabia. playing, the motivation is not the same.” As in playing against Brazil.”

Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)

Messi became the fifth player in history to score in four FIFA World Cups. He scored 16 years after his first World Cup goal (against Serbia in June 2006), the longest gap between goals scored by the same player in World Cup history.

– Argentina were flagged for the same number of offsides (7) in the first half against Saudi Arabia as in their complete Last two World Cup group stage combined (5 in 2018, 2 in 2014).

Saudi Arabia is the second Asian nation to score vs Argentina in the World Cup. The second is South Korea (scores in 1986 and 2010).

– Saudi Arabia scored multiple goals in a match for the first time since October 2021 (W 3-2 vs. China.)

– Argentina entered on a 36-game unbeaten streak (began in July 2019), one shy of tying the longest in men’s national team history (2018–21 Italy).

– According to Caesar’s official Twitter accountSaudi Arabia was 25–1 to beat Argentina. The reversal resulted in Argentina going from +550 to +700 before the tournament to win the World Cup.


Argentina: Lionel Scaloni’s men will take on Mexico at the same stadium on Saturday, which will prove crucial to their hopes of qualifying. They concluded the group stage against Poland at Stadium 974 in Doha on 30 November.

Saudi Arab: Next up for Saudi Arabia is Robert Lewandowski’s Poland at Al Rayyan’s Education City Stadium on Saturday, with their final group game against Mexico on 30 November.

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