World Cup Stunner: Saudi Arabia Beats Messi’s Argentina 2-1


Lionel Messi stood along with his fingers on his hips near the core circle, looking stone-confronted as Saudi Arabia’s jubilant gamers ran in all directions around him after pulling off probably the most greatest World Cup upsets ever towards Argentina.

The South American champions and probably the most event favorites slumped to a 2-1 loss Tuesday in opposition t the 2nd lowest-ranked team at the World Cup in a deflating birth to Messi’s quest to win the one essential title that has eluded him.

requested how he felt after a painful birth to his list fifth World Cup for Argentina, Messi referred to: “The reality? Dead. It's a really tough blow because we didn't expect to delivery in this way.”

Saudi Arabia's comeback joins the listing of other principal World Cup upsets: Cameroon’s 1-0 win over an Argentina team led with the aid of Diego Maradona in the opening video game of the 1990 World Cup; Senegal’s 1-0 victory over defending champion France in the 2002 event opener; or the USA beating England by way of the identical score in 1950.

“We recognize the realm Cup is this way,” Argentina train Lionel Scaloni observed. “every now and then that you could steamroll the opponents and, in a few plays, you are losing.”

That summed up the sample of a fit that began with Messi giving Argentina the lead, calmly changing a penalty within the 10th minute for his 92nd foreign aim. It had all the makings of a events win for the defending Copa the united states champions, who were on a 36-fit unbeaten run — one in need of the list in foreign soccer.

didn't turn out that means.

desires by using Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a 5-minute span early within the second half gave the Saudis a landmark influence within the first World Cup staged in the center East. Their previous largest win was 1-0 over Belgium on the 1994 World Cup, secured by using a storied individual goal by Saeed Al-Owairan.

“all of the stars aligned for us,” Saudi Arabia train Herve Renard spoke of. “We made background for Saudi soccer.”

The 35-year-old Messi, enjoying in his fifth — and certain his ultimate — World Cup for Argentina, scratched the facet of his head and shook hands with a Saudi coaching personnel member after the closing whistle.

He walked towards the tunnel with a bunch of other Argentina players and seemed despondent, an all-too-prevalent scene for the seven-time world player of the 12 months who has yet to win soccer's ultimate prize.

“we're dealing with two finals now,” said Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez, searching ahead of closing neighborhood matches against Mexico and Poland. “We screwed it up within the 2d half.”

The not likely victory by using a crew made up totally of Saudi-based gamers turned into sealed through a somersault through Aldawsari, who brought down a excessive ball just interior the penalty enviornment, spun his method past Nahuel Molina with the support of a ricochet, dribbled past Leandro Paredes and drove an impressive shot to the a ways corner in the 53rd.

A stunned Messi watched as Saudi Arabia's green-clad lovers, who had come over the Qatari border of their hundreds, celebrated in disbelief in the stands. Saudi Arabia’s substitutes swarmed onto the box to congratulate Aldawsari, who sank to his knees after his put up-purpose acrobatics.

“or not it's one for the history books,” Renard talked about.

Such become Argentina's preliminary dominance that Saudi Arabia didn’t have a shot on intention in the first half, all the way through which the Alibiceleste had three goals dominated out for offside as they many times got at the back of the Saudis' excessive defensive line.

“a few of these choices had been via inches,” Scaloni pointed out, “but it really is technology for you.”

The 48th-minute equalizer came from Saudi Arabia's first effort on course, with Alshehri finding the a long way corner with an angled conclude that went throughout the legs of defender Cristian Romero and beyond the dive of goalkeeper Emi Martinez.

Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais made two diving saves all the way through 14 minutes of stoppage time to hold a win that shakes up the neighborhood.

“This group always stood out for its evenness, its strength, and it is time to be extra united than ever,” Messi mentioned. “We should go again to our practicing base and try to win the subsequent video game.”


Argentina hadn't previously lost a world Cup online game when leading at halftime on account that 1930, when the crew conceded three desires within the 2d half to lose to Uruguay four-2.

final-16 HOPES

Saudi Arabia reinforced its possibilities of accomplishing the knockout stage of the world Cup for the primary time considering that 1994. “there'll simply be 20 minutes of get together for us,” Renard talked about. “We nonetheless have two video games — or more.”

UP subsequent

Argentina returns to the Lusail Stadium to play Mexico on Saturday. Saudi Arabia takes on Poland on the identical day.

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