Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina in their group opener of the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
Two-time winners Argentina opened the scoring from the spot with Lionel Messi converting a penalty.
Argentina dominated the first half and had three goals disallowed for offside. They were left stunned by Saudi Arabia’s improvement after the break.
Superb finishes from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari in the space of four minutes turned the game on its head early in the second half, and the Saudis defended bravely to see out one of the biggest results in their history.
A 2-1 loss by Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina ends a 36-game unbeaten run that included winning the 2021 Copa America.
They now have it all to do to keep alive their hopes of a first global triumph since 1986. Can they give Messi a fitting ending to what is very likely his World Cup swansong?
Argentina came with the intention of winning this tournament. Playing Saudi Arabia always looked like a box that just needed to be ticked.
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The two-time World Cup champions next face Mexico on Saturday. A victory is vital if they are to have any chance now of progressing. Argentina needs at least a point to avoid throwing their hopes of progression into serious jeopardy.
Saudi Arabia are back in action against Poland earlier that day. A win would all but seal their progression to the knock-out stages, and most likely as group winners.
The winners of Group C will face the runner-up from Group D, containing France, Denmark, Tunisia and Australia. The runner-up in Group D will face the winners of Group C.