LUSAIL, Qatar (22 November) — Saudi Arabia created one of the biggest upsets in FIFA World Cup history on Tuesday after they stunned Lionel Messi and Argentina 2-1 in a Group C encounter here at Lusail Stadium.
Argentina took the lead in the first half through Messi from the penalty spot in the 10th minute, but second half strikes from Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a five-minute span – 48th and 53rd minutes –gave the Saudis their first-ever World Cup opening game win.
Tuesday loss also means, Argentina, one the pre-World Cup 2022 favorites, had their 36-match unbeaten run snapped. Messi and his teammates will now look to regroup ahead of Saturday’s crucial clash against Mexico. The CONCACAF giants will take on Poland in the other Group C matchup on Tuesday.
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First Half–GOAL 1, Argentina, Messi, (penalty kick), 10th minute.
Second Half–GOAL 2, Saudi Arabia, AlShehri, (Al Birakan), 48th; GOAL 3, Saudi Arabia, Al-Dawsari, 53rd.
Goalkeepers–Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Alowais, Nawaf Alaqidi, Mohammed Alyami; Argentina, Emilano Martinez, Franco Armani, Geronimo Rulli.
Yellow Cards–Almalki, Saudi Arabia, 67th; Albulayhi, Saudi Arabia, 75th; Al-Dawsari, Saudi Arabia, 79th; Abdulhamid, Saudi Arabia, 82nd; Alabid, Saudi Arabia, 88th; Alowais, Saudi Arabia, 90th+2.
Referee–Slavko Vincic. Assistant Referees–Tomaz Klancnik, Andraz Kovacic, Pol van Boekel. 4th Official–Maguette Ndiaye.