La Albiceleste stun in Group C opener – Best Football News – BFN

Salem Al Dawsari of Saudi Arabia (right) celebrates his stunning goal against Argentina

Saudi Arabia produced one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history when they came from behind to beat Argentina 2-1 in their Group C opener on Tuesday.

La Albiceleste, who are one of the favorites to win in Qatar 2022, started well at the Stadio Lusail and took the lead after 10 minutes thanks to Lionel Messi’s penalty.

Lionel Scaloni’s side saw three attempts ruled out for offside before half-time – a suspension that Saudi Arabia took full advantage of five minutes into the second half.

Saleh Al Shehri leveled Herve Renard’s side, before Salem Al Dawsari sealed a famous win soon after with a superb strike from the edge of the area.

Mohammed Al Owais denied Messi within the opening two minutes but he was powerless to stop the superstar’s cool penalty after 10 minutes, the penalty being awarded after Saud Abdulhamid pulled Leandro Paredes.

La Albiceleste twice thought they had extended their lead before the half-hour mark, but goals from Messi and Lautaro Martinez were ruled out for offside.

Incredibly, Martinez’s other effort was ruled out for offside 10 minutes before the break as Scaloni’s side looked to take full advantage of Saudi Arabia’s high defensive line.

Saudi Arabia leveled with their first shot three minutes into the second half, Al Shehri past Cristian Romero and fired a low shot into Emiliano Martinez’s far corner.

They completed a remarkable turnaround just five minutes later when Al Dawsari cut inside from the left and fired in a superb shot from 18 yards.

Messi’s efforts were thwarted in the closing stages as Saudi Arabia held on for a famous win against a side 48 places above them in the world rankings, despite a long stoppage after Mohammed Al Burayk took a knee to the face from him. keeper himself.

What does it mean? The Saudis broke Argentina’s long unbeaten streak

Argentina looked like they were headed for victory when Messi scored from 12 yards early on, but their 36-game unbeaten run was brought to a halt after a wild start to the second half.

Fast forward strikes from Al Shehri and Al Dawsari sealed just a fourth World Cup win for Saudi Arabia and ensured Argentina would have to do it the hard way if they were to progress to the knockout stages.

Magical Messi

It would have been little consolation for Messi, but the 35-year-old’s goal made him the fifth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2014, 2018, 2022) after Pele, Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo. .

Old boy out of speed

Argentina became the first team in World Cup history to have four players aged 34+ in their starting XI (Messi, Nicolas Otamendi, Angel Di Maria and Papu Gomez). It hardly looked to be a problem during the first half, but Argentina desperately lacked energy and passion as they chased an equalizer after Saudi Arabia took the lead.

Opta Key Facts

  • Argentina lost a World Cup match after scoring their first goal for the first time since 1958 against Germany, while it was the first time they had lost after leading at half-time since the 1930 final against Uruguay.
  • Saudi Arabia became the first non-European team to beat Argentina at the World Cup since Cameroon in 1990, with Argentina winning 13 games since then.
  • The last three teams to beat Argentina at the World Cup have either won the competition (Germany in 2014, France in 2018) or reached the final (Croatia in 2018).
  • Saudi Arabia failed to have a single shot in the first half. Since 1966, three of the 10 examples of a team missing a shot in the first half of a game have been Saudi Arabia (also v France in 1998 and Germany in 2002).

What’s next?

Both sides are in action again on Saturday, with Argentina taking on Mexico and Saudi Arabia taking on Poland.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *