Saudi Arabia pulled one of the shocks of the World Cup after edging favorites Argentina 2-1 in a match staged on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia notched one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Lionel Messi’s Argentina thanks to a scintillating second-half comeback.
On his fifth and final quest for the only major trophy to elude him, the 35-year-old Messi scored a 10th-minute penalty in a dominant first-half-display where he and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside.
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Saudi Arabia arrived in the tournament as the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana and things went from bad to worse when Messi gave Argentina the lead from the penalty spot for a 1-0 lead for the Argentines at the break.
But they came a different team in the second half when Saleh Al-Shehri squeezed in a low shot in the 48th minute to restore parity while Salem Al-Dawsari curled in a scorching strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 53rd minute to leave Argentina and Messi looking utterly shell-shocked in the Group C opener.
Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina was unable to penetrate Saudi Arabia, who were competing in their sixth World Cup.
Both teams have Mexico and Poland to come, with Argentina needing an immediate reaction if Messi is to have a realistic chance of matching Diego Maradona’s immortality in his homeland by bringing home the World Cup.
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