Monday, December 4, 2023

World Cup 2022 : Saudi Arabia stun Argentina in huge upset

Argentina suffered one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history after Saudi Arabia completed a remarkable comeback victory at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Argentina, captained by Lionel Messi and on a 36-run unbeaten streak, were billed as one of the favourites coming into the Qatar tournament.

But goals by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a five-minute span in the second half cancelled out Messi’s first-half penalty and gave the Saudis their greatest win.

It all seemed to be going to plan for Argentina after their talisman and captain Lionel Messi slotted in a penalty after 10 minutes.

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Yet while thoroughly dominating the first half, Argentina failed to capitalise on their superior possession and strayed offside seven times. They also had a Lautaro Martinez goal ruled out for a marginal offside.

However, in the second half, a reinvigorated Saudi team took the field with an intent that they had been previously missing. Saleh al-Shehri opened the scoring in the 48th minute after latching onto a long ball and guiding it through Argentinian goalkeeper Damián Martinez’s legs.

If that equaliser stunned Argentina — and its fans who turned quiet — more was to follow. Five minutes later, Salem al-Dawsari curled in a beauty to give Saudi Arabia the lead.

Argentina applied late pressure but a string of fine saves from the Saudi keeper, Mohammed al-Owais, kept the scoreline in the favour of the underdogs, who came out on top with an historic win.

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