KSA defeats Argentina in FIFA World Cup 2022 first major upset

Picture source - FIFA

Underrated Saudi Arabia defeated Lionel Messi’s Argentina 2-1 on Tuesday, pulling off one of the biggest World Cup upsets in tournament history.

The 35-year-old Messi converted a penalty in the 10th minute during his sixth and last attempt to win the only major title still out of reach during a commanding first-half performance in which he and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside.

Saudi Arabia, the tournament’s second-lowest-ranked squad after Ghana, threw caution to the wind at the start of the second half and charged at Argentina’s defence in front of an enthused 88,012 crowd.

Salem Al-Dawsari arched in a scorching rocket from the edge of the penalty box in the 53rd minute, leaving Argentina and Messi in the Group C opener looking completely shell-shocked. Saleh Al-Shehri squeezed in a low attempt in the 48th minute.

Saudi Arabia had lots of possession but Argentina was unable to break them down. Saudi Arabia was playing in their sixth World Cup, but they had never won the opening match.

The Lusail Stadium hosted the game in a remarkable atmosphere, with thousands of Saudis crossing the border to support their team alongside Argentina’s traditionally large and passionate fan base.

The outcome ended Argentina’s incredible 36-match winning streak and prevented them from breaking Italy’s previous mark of 37 games without a loss for an international team.

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