|Saudi Arabia stunned Lionel Messi and Argentina on Tuesday with a sensational comeback win over the Copa America champions. It ended 2-1. (Photo credit: GOAL)|
You’re not mistaken, you’re reading right. Argentina, one of the tournament’s favorites to win has lost its opening game to the lowest-ranked side in the tournament.
Who could have thought? Saudi Arabia didn’t only beat Argentina, they managed the game brilliantly and ensure Lionel Messi and his men looked ordinary throughout the second half of the Group C encounter at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes, and Emiliano Martinez were all on parade but it was Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari that had the final say to cancel out Lionel Messi’s tenth-minute penalty.
Argentina arrived at the World Cup with a stunning 36-match unbeaten run but two goals in the space of four minutes early in the second half ended that record. All attempts to fight back failed as Saudis stood their ground throughout the closing stages.
Argentina started well and it took VAR interventions to deny the Albiceleste from running away in the first half. This is one of the extraordinary world cup stories and it will take something special for Argentina to pull off their 1990 heroics where they came back from an opening day loss to Cameroon to reach the final.
Mexico and Poland are the other teams in the group and they will now learn that the Saudis are no pushovers ahead of their respective group games. This is why we love football, this is why we love the FIFA World Cup.