One of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament, Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina as their highly anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign got underway with a resounding defeat in Group A.
The Albiceleste, who have gone unbeaten in 36 games over the past three years, took the lead thanks to a penalty from captain Lionel Messi in the 10th minute. Today's defeat ended the unbeaten run, which would have been the most unexpected outcome for Argentina.
Galore of Disallowed Goals Given to Argentina
In total, the Argentinians had 15 shots out of which 6 were on target. In the first half, Argentina would have felt like they had gone 4-0 up, but two goals from Lautaro Martinez and one goal from Lionel Messi were disallowed.
Argentina controlled the first half with a much higher ball possession than Saudi Arabia. They moved the ball around more swiftly and created multiple chances to put the ball into the net.
Saudi Arabia Took Advantage of the Frustration of Failed Attempts at Goal
With the Argentines trying so hard to score a goal. Almost all of the ten outfield players were looking to attack. The defense line looked more to play to out from the back, and that is when they got sloppy.
As Saudi Arabia initially levelled the score before taking the lead in a stunning five minutes gap, Argentina was forced to pay in a remarkable start to the second half.
Before Salem Al-Dawsari turned around, dodged a defender, and curled a beautiful effort from the left edge of the area into the top-right corner in the 53rd minute, Saleh Al-Shehri first charged past Cristian Romero and clipped a left-footed shot into the far corner.
A Heroic Performance by Mohamed Al-Owais
Nicolas Tagliafico, Lionel Messi, and Julian Alvarez all attempted to get Argentina back into the game, but Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Owais produced a series of saves to preserve one of the most incredible outcomes in World Cup history.
As they get ready to play Poland next, Saudi Arabia now has a chance to advance to the round of 16, while Argentina needs to get its act together before playing Mexico.