Saudi Arabia Stuns Argentina To Create One Of The Biggest Shock In World Cup History.

Saudi Arabia pulled one of the biggest shock in World Cup history, after coming from behind to defeat one of the tournaments favorite Argentina.

The Arabian team beat the team from South America 2-1 to bring the World Cup to life, thanks to a scintillating second-half comeback.

The Group C opener at the 88,012 crowded Lusail stadium in Qatar, saw the chance to see Lionel Messi play in his fifth and final quest only for the mojor trophy to elude him 

Argentina began the game with the following starting XI on a 4-4-2 formation: 

Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Romero, Tagliafico; Di Maria, Paredes, De Paul, Gomez; Messi, Martinez

While Saudi Arabia began with a 4-4-1-1: 

Al-owais; Abdulhamid, Al-tambakti, Al-bulayhi, Al-shahrani; Al-faraj, Kanno, Al-malki; Al-brikan, Al-shehri, Al-dawsari.

Argentina took the lead through Lionel Messi's early penalty in the 10th minute, which was awarded to La Albiceleste following a VAR decision.

The 35-year-old converted from the spot, after Saud Abdulhamid had fouled midfielder, Leandro Paredes, in the box.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, becomes the fifth player to score at four different World Cup tournaments after Pelé, Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi’s early goal against the Green Falcons was his 92nd international goal for Argentina.

The former Barcelona captain has now scored against 34 different national teams, including the likes of Bolivia, Uruguay and Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Estonia and Venezuela.

Argentina further had three goals ruled out for offside, with Messi goal disallowed on one occasion before Lautaro Martinez twice found the net only to be ruled out by VAR, this was courtesy of a tactical discipline in defence employed by Saudi's coach Herve Renard.

A high line and pressure on Messi ensured the Saudi's not only created opportunities, but stopped Argentina scoring more than once. 

With two goals in eight minutes for the Saudi's just after half-time flipped the contest.

Saudi Arabia who are the second lowest ranked team (51) in the tournament after Ghana, began the second-half a stronger side as they charged a sloppy Argentine defence.

Saleh Al-Shehri nipped in to slide home the equaliser in the 48th minute, before Salem Al-Dawsari picked out the top corner to eventually score the winner in the 53rd minute.

Argentina's Coach Lionel Scaloni made a raft of changes to try to improve his team performance but an equalizer continued to elude Argentina, as they couldn't comeback.

The victory for Saudi Arabia who are playing in their sixth World Cup means they have now won an opening game in the tournament for the first-time in history.

They ended Argentina's 36 games unbeaten run, that included winning the 2021 Copa America, and stopped them from matching the previous international record of 37 games unbeaten held by Italy.

Argentina who are currently ranked the 3rd best team going into the tournament, last lost their opening World Cup group game in 1990 against Cameroon, but they went on to reach the final where they lost to Germany, 

They will lock horns against Mexico for their second game on Saturday, and will face Poland in the last game of the group stages. 

Saudi Arabia who currently sit top of the group will face Poland next before facing Mexico in the final group stage fixture.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.