FOX Sports Insider
DOHA, Qatar — Lionel Messi and Argentina played on Tuesday in one of the biggest surprises in World Cup history, as Saudi Arabia played a 2-1 upset at Lusail Stadium.
After leading his side in the easiest Group C fixture and expected first-half penalties, Messi was unable to prevent a surprise Saudi counterattack that left Argentina in a precarious position after just one game.
Upheaval of the times!
The 51st-ranked Saudi Arabia scored two goals in five minutes of the second half to stun powerhouses Argentina and Leo Messi.
In the 48th minute, Saleem Al Daussari fired a spectacular right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area before diving into the Argentinian net before Saleh Al Sheri pulled a low to level the score against the flow of play. made an effort.
From there, Argentina furiously tried to regain the level.
To protect their 36-match unbeaten streak, which included a victory in the 2021 Copa America, Messi and company launched wave after wave of attacks to no avail.
Saudi goalkeeper Mohammad Al-Owais was deft, sometimes steady, sometimes exhilarating, sweeping trouble away with acrobatic saves and sprints out of the area.
Saudi Arabian fans celebrating historic result
Saudi Arabian fans rejoiced after their team’s 2-1 win over Argentina, in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
Deep in injury time, the keeper was caught in a terrifying moment that momentarily silenced the crowd. Al Owais sprinted off the line and hit the ball clear and his knee crashed into the jaw of team-mate Yasir Al Shafrani with terrifying force, prompting several minutes of medical attention and Al Shafrani’s substitution.
Before time expired, Abdulella Al Amri headed off one line and Al Owais made an athletic leap to knock off Julian Alvarez’s looped header to seal the shocking result.
Messi did the best he could. The little maestro penalized in the 10th minute as Argentina completely dominated in the first stage. Argentina put him one goal ahead before the end of the first half, and he also ruled out three goals for offside.
But in the meantime everything has changed, and so has the face of Group C.
Why Argentina Shouldn’t Panic
The FIFA World Cup Now crew reflects on Saudi Arabia’s unrest against Argentina. Melissa Ortiz advises Saudi Arabia to stay grounded after emotional victory. Maurice Edu says Argentina can still move forward with the group.
Despite a career that has been considered one of the best players of his generation alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi has never won the game’s biggest international award in his home country. It may be your last chance.
it’s not over. Argentina will have a chance to bounce back before facing Mexico in the final group match against Poland at the same venue on Saturday (2pm ET on FS1 and FOX Sports app). But that error tolerance is currently very thin.
Given the country’s border with Qatar and the large number of Saudi fans in attendance, the Saudi performance was perhaps the first case of a regional advantage at this World Cup. It may have been evidence that the gap between football’s global elite and those looking to elevate themselves to that level is closing.
Will it be the biggest upset of them all? Saudi Arabia sits only 51st in the world rankings, but imposing in the Asian qualifying rounds, even though they were pooled with regional powerhouses Japan and Australia. Regardless, he was in first place in the group.
Indeed, it can be argued that Senegal’s victory over reigning champions France in 2002, or Diego Maradona’s big hit against Argentina in Cameroon in 1990, was even more surprising. or not.
I don’t care. This is quite the shocker, and the story of whether Argentina and Messi can dig themselves out of this hole will be hotly followed from this point onwards.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. You can subscribe to our daily newsletter here.
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