FIFA World Cup: Saudi Arabia defeats Messi’s Argentina 2-1

Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts after missing a chance during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Lionel Messi’s Argentina faced a shocking 1-2 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia who scored one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever.

Thanks to a scintillating second half come back, just minutes into the second half, Saudi Arabia scored a stunning equaliser through Saleh Al Shehri and then Salem Al Dawsari and doubled the lead for his side, courtesy of a brilliant solo goal.

Earlier in the first half, 35-yr-old Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the spot after VAR intervention saw Argentina earn a penalty against Saudi Arabia.

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Both Messi and Lautaro Martinez have seen multiple goals being denied by offside flags. Credit to Saudi Arabia for not letting the game go out of their hands at half-time, with Argentina only being 1-0 up at the break.

Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana, threw caution to the wind at the start of the second half, charging at Argentina’s defence in front of a frenzied 88,012 crowd.

Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina were unable to penetrate Saudi Arabia, who were competing in their sixth World Cup but had never previously won an opening game.

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Messi’s quest to win the one major title seems to have eluded him with this shocking start and brought back memories of Cameroon’s 1-0 win over an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup.